I HAVE noted with concern the decision of the new SNP government to challenge the UK Government in court over the latter’s action to block the Scottish Parliament’s gender recognition reform legislation.

I acknowledge entirely the views expressed by many respected SNP and other independence-supporting activists that this is a vitally important constitutional issue. Indeed it is the importance of the constitutional nature of this issue that makes me consider that it should be given more careful thought before we rush to the court, as I’m sure the UK establishment wants, and expects, us to do.

I believe we are being invited into a trap, one designed to get us to trigger another English Supreme Court decision on Scottish “sovereignty” which is very unwise for us to do, and which we can easily avoid doing if we act with caution.

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The Westminster parliament has no constitutional role in this matter. It is entirely within the remit of the Scottish Government as a devolved matter. Now, under the existing devolution legislation the UK Government does have a right under Section 35 to oppose legislation from the Scottish Parliament which would have detrimental effects in other parts of the UK.

Now, if the UK Government had grounds to be concerned about this bill, they could have raised this with the Scottish Government during the process of the legislation through the Scottish Parliament, but it appears they did not do this. Had they done so, then the Scottish Parliament, under the terms of the Scotland Act Section 35, would have been obliged to give this serious consideration before passing it.

Once the bill had been accepted by the Scottish Parliament, without any impute from the UK Government, then the next part of the legal process is for the bill to get Royal Assent. Royal Assent, not Westminster Parliament Assent. Royal Assent has not been withheld from a bill passed through parliament since the Act of Union in 1707.

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Charles III is soon to go through a coronation in London but he has already taken an oath to defend Scotland’s Claim of Right, so he has acknowledged that Scotland’s sovereignty rest with the Scottish people.

Now it seems to me that rather than to walk into the trap prepared for us, the Scottish Government should address this issue directly with King Charles III.

Some will say this will create a constitutional crisis, but if we are crowning a new King who has a constitutional responsibility which he can’t operate without Westminster approval, then we already have a constitutional crisis.

If we do as the Unionists want us to do and go to the English Supreme Court, we will get the same response from them as we got last year on Scottish sovereignty, which will leave us in Scotland with a constitutional crisis. So let us have a UK one now, on our terms and not on theirs.

Andy Anderson

NOBODY will be surprised that the press and other media have been preoccupied with the internal faults of the SNP. This provides plenty of fodder for lazy Unionist politicians and hacks.

However, we need to remember that self-determination will result from a broad-based democratic active campaign, not some parliamentary goodwill alone.

These events have only emphasised our need for mobilising an open, public movement for self-determination that incorporates the widest political forces that see more democracy locally and nationally as a worthwhile ambition. An ecosocialist Scotland is not inevitable unfortunately, but I think it is necessary.

Norman Lockhart