by Henry Hill
Tuesday, 11
May 2021
Response
11:43

Should Scotland be partitioned?

The logic of self-determination could hurt the SNP in the end
by Henry Hill
Credit: Getty

In the aftermath of last week’s Scottish election, nationalist politicians — supported by credulous commentators in London — have claimed that refusing to grant a second referendum on independence would be a denial of democracy.

Never mind the generational mandate bestowed on the Union by Scottish voters in 2014. Never mind that a majority of voters backed pro-Union parties on Thursday. Never mind too that the constitution is nothing to do with the Scottish Parliament. Democracy has spoken!

But look past the rhetoric and it swiftly becomes clear that there are hard limits on the SNP’s commitment to self-determination. They have no intention of granting it to parts of Scotland.

If you doubt it, just look at the reaction to a recent article by Professor Vernon Bogdanor, in which he looks at the staunchly unionist Borders region and then asks a simple question: “Should they be extruded from the United Kingdom against their wishes?”

Cue much spluttered outrage from nationalist outriders about this ‘ridiculous’ suggestion, replete with unflattering comparisons regarding the creation of Northern Ireland. But with that Province celebrating its centenary this year, it is worth giving the ideas behind its creation proper consideration.

Unionists should have no difficulty arguing that the creation of a Northern Ireland was a just reflection of the divergent wishes of different parts of the island.

Bogdanor points out that the unionists of Ulster were a “compact minority”, as the SNP claim Scotland to be in today’s Union (and, as he points out, the Borders are within Scotland).

But it was put just as well by Andrew Bonar Law, then a Unionist MP and later Prime Minister, in the preface to the 1912 book Against Home Rule:

Every argument which can be adduced in favour of separate treatment for the Irish Nationalist minority as against the majority of the United Kingdom, applies with far greater force in favour of separate treatment for the Unionists of Ulster as against the majority of Ireland.
- Andrew Bonar Law, Against Home Rule

The logic of self-determination does not leave nations inviolable, not least because (as the SNP must admit) it is not obvious that two groups can be easily deemed a single nation if one seeks to escape the authority of the other.

Of course, an Irish or Scottish nationalist will try and insist that their preferred unit be taken as the basis for all decisions, but there is no reason for anyone who does not share their nationalism to agree.

Unionists must not allow themselves to be browbeaten (once again) into accepting nationalist premises. If an area of Scotland is actually serious about choosing a different future, they have as much right to a hearing as do the SNP, Plaid Cymru, or Sinn Fein.

The Borders may not even be the most likely candidates. Both Orkney and Shetland have sought closer relations with Westminster to offset the overweening power of the SNP’s Edinburgh, and are strongly against independence. Might we one day have cause to welcome the next home nation: the Northern Isles?

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Neil Wilson
Neil Wilson
1 year ago

There is no need for any further discussion on referendum. There is no Article 50 mechanism within the Act of Union. It is a permanent partnership between Scotland and England, which means if the Scots wish to leave the partnership, they need to buy themselves out.
They need to agree terms with their partners – the English. And what terms we decide to give the Scots is whatever we consider ‘fair’, not them. On a simple ‘take it or leave it’ basis.
The National Debt is secured upon the future tax revenues of the nation. Scotland has been receiving 130% per head of revenue for years, and therefore to leave the Union they should be required to deliver to the UK Treasury 130% per head of the outstanding National Debt, not in Sterling, but in the actual Gilts that make it up.
The SNP can refinance the Gilts by issuing ‘Scottish Independence Bonds’ in whatever denomination they want.
That then focusses the mind of those who wish independence. Are they happy for their savings and pensions to be in Scottish Bonds, and will they put their money where their mouth is?
It also gives Unionists a way to stop the split – purchase the UK Gilts and refuse to sell them to the Nationalists.
The market will then decide. If the Nats manage to deliver the payment, then there will be a vote of Scottish MPs at the beginning of the next parliament and those areas with MPs that support leaving can leave. Those that don’t will stay in the Union.
If the Nats fail to deliver then the Scottish Parliament is permanently dissolved – to end the constant demands that we get from the minor partner.
We don’t need a Referendum Bill. We need a Great Britain Union bill that eliminates the separate countries once and for all and put the whole of Great Britain under the same local government, legal and property structure.

Last edited 1 year ago by Neil Wilson
Mark H
Mark H
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Wilson

Wow, that’s brutal. Are you recycling what eurocrats said about the UK leaving the EU?
I just don’t see “us and them” when it comes to the relationship between Scotland and England.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark H
Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark H

Unfortunately a lot of Scots do.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Wilson

An excellent, erudite solution,if I may say so.
Additionally to plagiarise the late Lord Clive of Plassey, “ I am a amazed at your moderation” “

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Jack Henry
Jack Henry
1 year ago
Reply to  Neil Wilson

You must really love and cherish Scotland to want to stay married to it that badly.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
1 year ago

I suspect that if the Scottish Borders region elected to remain in the union rather than submit to SNP one party rule, then a very big chunk of rScotland’s tax generating base would go with it.
And if Shetland took it’s oil, gas and fisheries too it would become a very wealthy set of islands also free of the SNP’s rule…

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

The SNP would probably be finished pretty quickly in an independent Scotland

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Assuming free elections and a robust separation of powers were the norm in an independent Scotland. Recent events give cause to think that might not be the case.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

There’s a good argument that the oil and gas wouldn’t automatically belong to iScotland anyway. It was allocated to the UK, not to Scotland, by international treaty in 1965. The treaty doesn’t mention Scotland.
Although the UK might be differently composed post-Joxit, it would still exist. So it would retain its allocation, as the obvious successor state. Any share for Scotland would be at the UK’s discretion.
They’d have a good claim to any new development, but that’s assuming 1/ there is any 2/ that Shetland and Orkney decide to Leave too, which they might very well not, and 3/ that explorers discount the political risk of exploring in Scottish versus UK waters to nil; again, they may very well not.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

The possible precedent would be East Timor’s independence from Indonesia followed by its renegotiation of Indonesia’s former oil & gas Zone of Cooperation with Australia.
However, as the article and comments posit, not just the Borders, but the Northern Isles and Aberdeen City and Shire could elect to stay in the UK, as they did resoundingly in the “once in a generation” Indyref of 2014.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago

I have thought all of this obvious since before 2014 and that result showed basically only Strathclyde and Dundee voted for it…I can easily see various areas wanting to opt out of leaving and have long thought the only think getting divided would be Scotland. .

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago

Spot on.
If Scots nationalists are entitled to have their region leave the Union, Scots unionists are likewise entitled to have their regions stay in it.
I don’t want Nats in the Union if they’re that unhappy. But the solution is not to exchange a position where 2.5 million Scots are unhappy at being in the Union for one where 2.5 million are unhappy at having left it.
The solution is to give the Nats their vote, but the question should be, Do you wish your region to Leave the Union and become part of an independent country of Scotland, or Stay in the United Kingdom?
Those regions that vote to Leave should do so with our good wishes. Those that vote to Stay shall do so.
The result will not be a new country. There will be two Scotlands, one a country within the Union, the other a new and independent country that will rapidly fail. As long as this reflects what was “vooted” for, I’m all in favour.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

This is a stupid as those who suggested London or indeed Scotland should be allowed to remain in the EU

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

No it’s not. Brexit was about whether a country should exercise its rights under a treaty. The SNP want to change the definition of the country they live in. If they have that right so does everyone.
I’m not surprised you don’t like it. As an idea it spells doom for Joxit, and would send the SNP into an abject panic because they’d end up with the worst bits of Scotland. As that is what they exemplify, there is justice in that.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I don’t care about Scottish independence but this option seems to guarantee parts of Scotland would become independent. A unionist would surely only suggest this if they thought they would lose a Scotland wide independence referendum

Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

In this scenario, independent “Scotland” would consist of Glasgow. The rUK would rid itself of a money-pit of grievance and hatred, and we would all be better off.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Harvey

I think it was Billy Connelly back in the 1980s who jokingly described Glasgow as ‘Belfast Lite’.

M S
M S
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete Marsh

Having lived in both for a while I’d choose Belfast. There’s less bigotry.

Last edited 1 year ago by M S
Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Hardly… it’s about fairness and many people in the Borders, Orkney and Shetland, Aberdeen area and Edinburgh have discussed it because they don’t, I should say we don’t as an English born person living here,but it’s routine for Nats when they hear that to tell me I should have no say and just clear off, want to be in a set up where democracy and the separation of powers has disappeared and the Attorney General, wearing his two hats, acts like a member of the SNP in a daft wig whenever he intervenes in anything.
The reality is Sturgeon herself admitted in many interviews last week she has no idea what the costs, disadvantages and did-benefits of independence would be because she has done no studies.

This is because she is not taking it seriously, the ‘vote for me because it is not a vote for inde or indyref2’ routine before every voting day, that is immediately turned on its head as soon as the votes are counted is being seen through and recent polling is putting support for inde at the very low 40%s and falling.
Everyone in Scotland knows including Nationalists that they have no conceivable prospectus for a campaign that could survive the slightest contact with reality.
Nobody better than Sturgeon, which is why for another five years we will be stuck in the same groundhog day world where the Scottish establishment howls about holding a referendum that never gets held..and all the while Scotland and it’s *brand* keeps declining; the land of moderation, and careful, measured competence, turning in the eyes of the world into a miserable, decaying, slowly subsiding mess.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

It’s a nice idea, but Scotland joined with England in the Act of Union, not all the other sub-regions. Scotland also had its own legal system etc. I don’t think the UK government would ever go down the road of partitioning Scotland

Some of the intemperate ANTI-SNP stuff, however much I agree with it, simply plays into their hands.

Unionists often seem be oblivious to the fact that p*ssing off the English is a major part of their strategy.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Jones

Why? Are you really so attached to a division of our main island that basically arises from the fall out of the policies of the Roman Empire that slowly settled into a form of Scotland that only existed from 1472 until 1603, and then 1707.
Meaning at best the Scotland of the saltire waving ex hardcore Lab people who decamped to the SNP lasted for only about two thirds of the time the UK has existed?
Rory Stewart’s idea of a Northern Middleland has far more relevance on the ground, linking Newcastle and Edinburgh, as indeed they were once in one ‘economic zone’ (aka Kingdom and the way English and Scots cross and recross the Border for work, trade, commerce, takeaways even, and to see families…in a way vastly more integrated than Kent and Northern France ever have been.
From their bogus history, to their bogus, economics, (they can’t even conceive of a currency however bogus so leave that unaddressed) to their nasty, shadowed Anglophilia it is about time we stopped appeasing the nationalists and started to treat them for the frauds they are.

Jos Haynes
Jos Haynes
1 year ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Anglophobia?

eugene power
eugene power
1 year ago

in the meantime shift the Rothsay naval stuff to..hartlepool ?
the london tax offices to..batley and Spen ?
Etc etc and re formulate Barnett

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  eugene power

but leave the student loan company in Glasgow-good luck with getting those billions back

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
1 year ago

The Borders could end up like “Tabarnia” (the coastal region incorporating Barcelona and Tarragona which, according to Spanish satirists, ought to secede from Catalonia in the event that Catalonia secedes from Spain).

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago

There is no reason why they should not. If they want to remain in the legacy country why should they be denied?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
Nothing in the above discussion is about democracy – it is about nasty self-seeking politicians trying to misuse words.

John Mcalester
John Mcalester
1 year ago

All sounds a bit like “Passport to Pimlico ”
Do we get down to the level of independence for parish councils ?

Andrea X
Andrea X
1 year ago
Reply to  John Mcalester

Why not. What’s good for the goose is good for Pimlico.
Besides, where should Scotland end? The southern border changed a lot and the northern islands are a relatively new addition…

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrea X

King Edwin of Northumbria brought peace to the north of England by defeating the picts and the scots and built Edwin’s Borough-now called Edinburgh-so we’ll need that back or at least some serious back rent.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
1 year ago

Well, there IS precedent. I mean, partition worked out really well in Ireland.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago

That was top down partition. Bottom up partition, where you vote for what side of the border you’re on, would be nothing like that.

David Foot
David Foot
1 year ago

Scotland are only 5 million souls, the Islands don’t want to depend from the SNP and other regions of Scotland don’t want to either So are they not entitled to be respected and have their own devolution?
There is no “internal act of Union” within Scotland, so if the “once in a generation” promise is not adhered to, agreements reached are broken, then it should follow that partition becomes a necessity, what had been agreed has now been reneged on. 
Scotland voted to remain, why should that vote of Scotland be undone now and create instability again across the entire country to the detriment of those who won democratically. The SNP lied to its people and has continued to mount a guerrilla war against the entire rest of the UK, harming the Scots as well in their fanatical mission.
In these conditions of inconsistency and no integrity on the part of the SNP, partition becomes a necessity. SNP (a former fascist party) views independence as a religion and this form of fanatical fascism shouldn’t be compulsory for all the Scots if they don’t want it.
If we want to fix the Union today and avoid partition with all its consequences:
Devolution of Wales and Scotland must be changed to be a devolution by cites, regions and population areas looking after their own “regional” interests in the same way as in England, leaving all international politics to Westminster.
What the Marxists did was to leave England not represented and split up facing up to all the nationalists of the rest of the UK which the Marxists had left united and represented, a recipe for conflict, Marxists thrive on “struggles”, so that is what they gave the UK, they said to the other nationalists here you are there is your target, England, shoot at it, we have declawed it for you.
In this way taking out the nationalist poison left behind by the Marxist partition of the UK after the Marxist landslide of 1997 which ended in the “no more money” gold gone etc, the necessary “Gordon Brown Austerity” which had to follow Gordon Brown disaster, and the UK split on an anti-English hate basis. Most has been addressed by the Conservatives except the toxicity of the Marxist devolution.
However if the SNP consider that their supporters have rights to ignore the democratic vote of 2014, after analysing the regions of Scotland, these regions should be empowered to choose their allegiance. UK and Scotland need to draught a “Leaving Treaty” where everything needs to be negotiated and specified before any referendum, to safeguard the withdrawal of what belongs to the rest of the UK, new monetary basis etc. All needs to be worked out aforehand, taking away from the SNP the possibility it uses today of lying to their people and ignoring the agreements which it has reached.
Any future Referendum must not be a Marxist solution as in the past, it must be kept simple ending the instability, Hollyrood has failed, James VI of Scotland would have never have bought what the Marxists left behind:
1 Are you in the UK with ONE Parliament in Westminster or
2 Are you not in the UK with ONE Parliament in Hollyrood
3 The Islands and regions should be allowed devolution and the choice to remain in the UK to which they now belong, nobody should have the power to force them to lose that right which they have now. Others should not determine their future fore them.
We must put an end to the Marxist partition of the UK and specially the idea of “two Parliaments” nationalist lies and guerrilla warfare against the UK. This need to end for good, if Scotland remains it must be the end of Hollyrood Parliament which has failed our UK nation.
The nationalists should not take this trouble which they cause so lightly and casually. Their jobs must be on the line, no more cause of instability, no more Hollyrood for the ones remaining in UK.
There must be no more “part” of a 5 million population -tail trying to wag 60 million population-dog in this permanent guerrilla warfare against all the rest of the UK by a few neo-fascists in Scotland. We in the UK will remain in peace with the Scots who want to be with us.
Once this is settled I strongly recommend patriotic education to be an obligation everywhere and we start taking action against educational institutions paid for by the UK tax payer but spreading the interests of others which are foremost in their minds, UK taxes should not fund traitors. Let us learn from the Marxists and the fascists the importance of education and the love of our Queen and Country.

mingbooks
mingbooks
1 year ago

As I live in D& G and against independence, this would suite me

Denis Slattery
Denis Slattery
1 year ago

I don’t have a dog in this fight but here’s a novel idea why not split Scotland up into two separate political entities based on the which region votes Yes or No.
Just draw an arbitrary line anywhere and to hell with the consequences for future generations
Oh hang on that was tried before and what a success that turned out to be.
If there’s a Yes vote can the UK government reorganise the Black and Tans to put those uppity Scots back in their place ?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago

I don’t see why. Ireland was partitioned top down; this would be ground-up because each region “voots” for what it wants.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago

M

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
lindahughes1
lindahughes1
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

If you take 100% of those eligible to vote, 34% of Scottish voters didn’t vote for anyone, of the remaining 66% it was split just over 33% for pro-union parties, and just under 33% for SNP/Greens. That’s the ‘mandate’ for Sturgeon, less than 33% of the electorate.

James Chater
James Chater
1 year ago
Reply to  lindahughes1

B

Last edited 1 year ago by James Chater
Andrea X
Andrea X
1 year ago
Reply to  James Chater

She would be chipper in the same way. Brexit is just an excuse.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
1 year ago

Scott Reid’s 1995 book, Canada Remapped, offers good suggestions on dealing with another Scottish referendum, or any independence referendum for that matter. If there were not a qualified majority of Scots voting in favour of independence, things would of course stay as they were. If there were, but big swathes of the country, the Borders and the Northern Isles voted to remain in the United Kingdom, there would be a follow-up referendum in those places to see which country they wished to belong to: Scotland or the rump UK. In the case of Quebec independence, Reid thought, almost certainly correctly that a lot of Francophone Quebeckers who voted for Canada in an initial sovereignty referendum would vote for Quebec in a follow-up referendum. I suspect that the same thing would be true in Scotland, but I am not a Scot, so I don’t really know. Anyway, it would be the fair thing to do. The Quebec sovereignists, with their genius for controlling the terms of debate to their advantage, liked to say: “If Canada is divisible then Quebec is divisible” as if anyone wanted to see dozens of countries spring up on Canadian soil. The real debate was over de facto borders as opposed to democratic borders. Any true lover of freedom should favour democratic borders. Ireland would be a happier island if the borders between Ulster and the Republic had been democratically drawn.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
1 year ago

As long as Scotland take Corby with them…

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 year ago

The top and bottom is that right now support for inde is draining away. The use of Brexit as a proxy cause cloaked in the EU flag is seeing many moderate remainers (in both senses of the EU and UK) moving on, and that’s worth a few basis points on its own, hence the 42% in the latest Survation poll.
And even more significantly seeing the dynamic political changes in the UK everywhere except Scotland is starting to make the neverendum one note moan in SCottish Political life look old fashioned.
Young people can see how Manchester under a Labour Mayor, and Birmingham, even Teesside under Conservative ones (yep..Teesside) is seeing these City regions and areas moving ahead of Scottish equivalents.
The differences now in the atmosphere and developments in Manchester and Birmingham compared to Glasgow, say, which were not that different 35 to 40 years ago, is marked.
Scots can see this, and will see it even more now travelling around is allowed again, and they know that all three places are in the same UK, but only one has a risibly incompetent SNP council in an SNP governed country that is talking like it’s still 1981 not 2021.

Corrie Mooney
Corrie Mooney
1 year ago

You can’t seriously consider Irish partition as an example can you?

Tom Gallagher
Tom Gallagher
1 year ago

Henry Hill is a plagiarist who has stolen the partition idea from Jamie Blackett & george Galloway, the founders of Alliance 4 Unity. He attacked this party regularly during the election campaign, showing what a first class bounder he is.

Mark Adams
Mark Adams
1 year ago

Boris should just call the referendum on “Stay or Leave” right now, not at a time of Sturgeon’s choosing. Regions that want to leave may do so, taking with them their share of the debt. Those that don’t, won’t.

Steve Payne
Steve Payne
1 year ago

This issue is not unique to Scotland, if occurs wherever there are borders eg Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Any solution will be imperfect. One key issue is whether everyone’s vote is equal. Border areas tend to be inhabited by greater numbers of people from and with allegiance to the other side. The border areas of Scotland and Wales have Conservative MPs; is that because they contain more English born voters? Should the votes of recent arrivals from across the border (settlers), many of them retired with no long term stake in the outcome, count as much as the votes of long-term residents with children? I suggest not; the decision on independence should belong to those say who have lived in the area for at least 10 years or who also work in the area.

Sparta Cuss
Sparta Cuss
1 year ago

The Scots have the right to another referendum because the Unionists won the vote by promising them DevoMax and then betraying them!
However, if the UK was to give DevoMax to every Local and Unitary Authority in the UK, wouldn’t the need for Scots independence disappear?

rrostrom
rrostrom
1 year ago

As is often the case with secessionists, they elevate the constituencies they control to absolute sovereignty, while flatly denying any rights to lesser constituencices.
This was the case with the American secessionists of 1860-1861: they loudly proclaimed the injustice of the Federal government “coercing” allegedly sovereign states, while ruthlessly and brutally suppressing all Unionist dissent within those states.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

We should revive the Treaty of Newcastle of 1334.: The generous terms were as follows:-

Territories ceded to England by Edward Balliol of Scotland
The terms of the treaty, Balliol pledged the overlordship of England, the surrender of Berwick, and to cede the whole of south-eastern Scotland (Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire, Peebleshire, Dumfrieshire, East Lothian, Mid Lothian and West Lothian).

Richard Haviland
Richard Haviland
1 year ago

Interesting article from someone who clearly disagrees with Michael Gove that Scotland should be allowed to leave the UK if it chooses to. Can the author explain what provision he would make for those English cities that voted Remain in 2016 to break away from the UK and rejoin the EU? Then what provision he would make for those boroughs of those cities that voted Leave to remain in the UK? Then what provision he would make for those parishes in those boroughs that voted Remain to leave the UK and join the EU?

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
1 year ago

None is required Richard.
The UK is a country that had a national treaty with the EU. The country was consulted on whether as a country it should depart the EU, and it voted to Leave.
The UK did not join the EU as a sort of mosaic of regions, so no such approach should be taken now, any more than regions were invited to Leave during our 40-odd years’ membership.
The SNP, in contrast, seeks to change the definition of the UK to exclude a piece of it by having a referendum on whether a piece should be allowed to break off. That is explicitly the question. There is no reason to allow the SNP to determine or limit which bits; this is not a devolved competence. Instead, we let the affected regions decide. Those parts that vote to Leave will then be required to do so.
If the SNP loses its enthusiasm for separation given that this entails separation from the money, it should ask itself why it thinks it wants independence, and it should reflect on the rights of regions to want independence from the SNP.

Mark H
Mark H
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

This is overall a very practical suggestion because it gives the SNP supporters the independence they want – no more arguing about winning/losing by a small margin and whether that means another referendum should/shouldn’t be offered.
To be fair the same choice offered to the Scottish borders could be offered to the English counties adjacent to the border.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Hoisted by a petard of their own making. It is the SNP who have jumped up and down and stamped their feet, about being forced, against “their/Scotland’s” will to leave the/a union. What’s good for the goose, as they say.