Articles of Union

Illegal EVEL

(Last Updated On: 6th February 2015)

The Act of Union of 1707 was the law which ended Scottish Independence and joined us to England from then until now. The law provides for a single parliament, Article 3 states: “THAT the United Kingdom of Great Britain be Represented by one and the same Parliament to be stiled The Parliament of Great Britain.”  This we know of course and the single parliament has persisted until the present day.

However Article 4 states: “THAT all the Subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain shall, from and after the Union, have full Freedom and Intercourse of Trade and Navigation to and from any Port or Place within the said United Kingdom and the Dominions and Plantations thereunto belonging; and that there be a Communication of all other Rights Privileges, and Advantages, which do or may belong to the Subjects of each Kingdom; except where it is otherwise expressly agreed in these Articles.”

Now here lies a thorny issue, for any reduction in the rights, privileges or advantages of Scottish MPs in said “Parliament of Great Britain”, such as is proposed with EVEL, would be in direct contravention of the Act of Union. Any such reduction would therefore be illegal.

What then?

5 thoughts on “Illegal EVEL

  1. AvatarBrian Cunningham

    In 1713 the very people that signed the treaty wanted it repealed as All points off the treaty had been broken. So with that in mind doesn’t that mean the treaty has been null and void for 300 years!!!!

    1. AvatarColm

      The Treaty of Union and the Acts (that needs stressing as there were/are two) are still law whether their provisions have been breached or not. Were this to be tested in court it is the modern interpretation that would hold sway as would the modern law of treaties which require not only that the letter but the spirit of the treaty be upheld by the parties.
      This move is in all probability (as I have written elsewhere) unlawful and contrary to the Treaty and were it to be introduced would without question result in a legal challenge.
      It is arguably also contrary to European Law which takes precedence over UK law in areas of community competence. As far as the EC, the UN and every other international body is concerned there is only one country at the moment and that is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Scotland gets observer status on the UK team (a bit like being the ball boy at Murrayfield) when issues such as fisheries are discussed in Brussels.
      So what about Northern Ireland in all this. What happens if the same rule is applied to its MPs? How would that impact on the relations with Ireland and upon the peace process there?
      This is a petty vindictive, populist move designed to stoke the fires of prejudice (this time against the Scots) in order to gain electoral advantage amongst the increasingly strident extreme right in England.
      It is also building a casus belli for after the election when Labour will in all probability be in power with the support of the SNP. It is extraordinary that after campaigning so “passionately” for the Union that the same Tory Party is now on a clear course to dissolve it in all but name.

  2. Avatarhektorsmum

    This is what happens when people in power don’t think things through. Would have been much better to have used a federal system to overcome the perceived threat if Scotland wishing to be independent but the England will not be subservient to anyone in this Union.

  3. AvatarAuld Bob

    Indeed it does but the Treaty of Union also is, exactly as it describes itself, “The United Kingdom”, and it only has two signatory kingdoms as signatories. It is not a country. Furthermore, the Kingdom of England of 1688, that had the Glorious Revolution ,had annexed the Principality of Wales by, “the Statute of Rhuddlan”, in 1284, and all Ireland, by, “The Crown of Ireland Act”, 1542. It was thus a three country Kingdom and no other kingdom has ever joined the United Kingdom since 1706/7. It was/is thus legally a bipartite treaty between two equally sovereign Kingdoms. The Status Quo Ante that legally exists if either Kingdom leaves the Union is to disunited the Union. Ergo – no rUnited Kingdom can legally exist when it is a single Kingdom.

    Add to all that the fact that when the United Kingdom parliament devolved powers to only three countries the entire status of the Union changed from that of a bipartite union of kingdoms to being a quadratic union of countries but with the country of England retaining for itself the Union Parliament. Making Westminster the de facto parliament of the country of England, devolving English powers to the other three countries and with the elected English members doubling as unelected as such Parliament of England MPs. Worse still they legislate for England as the United Kingdom, fund England as the United Kingdom, decide the level of Block Grants to Scotland, Wales and N.I and further regulate their funding by positive and negative Barnett consequentials.

    The United Kingdom effectively ended the day devolved parliaments were begun.


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