WILL BREXIT END THE UNION?
Repealing the Union with England Act…
The Union with England Act 1707 is “An Act Ratifying and Approving the Treaty of Union of the Two Kingdoms of SCOTLAND and ENGLAND“
The Union with England Act 1707 has been shredded to the point of non-existence and there is not much left of the original act. Most of the act has been repealed and re-written into the various Scotland Acts, but there are still a few sections of the original act that remain intact and it is these sections of the act that are being threatened by new legislation.
In order for the UK Government to proceed with its legislation for the proposed EU withdrawal bill to satisfy Northern Irelands unique position it must first make changes to, or repeal some of the remaining sections of the 1707 Union with England Act.
The United Kingdom referenced in Section III of the 1707 act refers to the “United Kingdom of Great Britain” and it can be argued that the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” supersedes the original act, however, this is not the case as the 1800 Act of Union (Ireland) clearly states.
The parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland have resolved to concur in measures for uniting the two kingdoms: Whereas in pursuance of his Majesty’s most gracious recommendation to the two houses of parliament in Great Britain and Ireland respectively, to consider of such measures as might best tend to strengthen and consolidate the connexion between the two kingdoms, the two houses of the parliament of Great Britain, and the two houses of the parliament of Ireland have severally agreed and resolved, that in order to promote and secure the essential interests of Great Britain and Ireland, and to consolidate the strength, power, and resources of the British empire, it will be adviseable to concur in such measures as may best tend to unite the two kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, into one kingdom, in such manner, and on such terms and conditions, as may be established by the acts of the respective parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland.
The important part of this section of the 1800 act is the last paragraph;
“in such manner, and on such terms and conditions, as may be established by the acts of the respective parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland“ Meaning that the acts that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain are the established acts and that the “Union of Great Britain and Ireland” was established under those terms.
The fact that Northern Ireland is able to dictate policy and law over Scotland, by lending its vote to one member of the United Kingdom of Great Britain through a confidence and supply agreement, shows that Northern Ireland is accepted as a third state within the treaty of the acts of the union, otherwise it would be in breach of both the “1707 Union with England Act” and the “1800 Act of Union (Ireland)”.
If Northern Ireland is not a third state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain then it should have no vote on matters relating to Great Britain, neither should it be allowed to interfere in the relationship of the two countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
Section III of the Union with England Act 1707 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 section of the act has never been altered or repealed; therefore Northern Ireland if not accepted as a third state, should have no governance over matters directly relating to Scotland, there is no consensus for the United Kingdom of Great Britain to be replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. As stated earlier the “1800 Act of Union (Ireland)” unites the Parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland and does not give governance of one over the other. So it is accepted, that Northern Ireland is a third state of the union of Great Britain as described under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention.
Treaties providing for rights for third States
1. A right arises for a third State from a provision of a treaty if the parties to the treaty intend the provision to accord that right either to the third State, or to a group of States to which it belongs, or to all States, and the third State assents thereto. Its assent shall be presumed so long as the contrary is not indicated, unless the treaty otherwise provides.
2. A State exercising a right in accordance with paragraph 1 shall comply with the conditions for its exercise provided for in the treaty or established in conformity with the treaty.
So that being the case then the UK Governments proposals to grant one of the member states a different arrangement to that of the rest of the United Kingdom would be in breach of Sections IV and VI of the “Union with England Act 1707” and will leave Scotland at a disadvantage.
Section IV of the Union with England Act 1707 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 either Kingdom except where it is otherwayes expressly agreed in these Articles
So it is clear from this that Scotland is entitled to that “Freedom and Intercourse of Trade and Navigation” and it is worth mentioning that the specific use of the phrase “for ever from and after the Union” tells us that these articles were recognised by both parties as unchangeable.
This leads us onto Section VI of the act, which states
That all parts of the United Kingdom for ever from and after the Union shall have the same Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks and be under the same Prohibitions Restrictions and Regulations of Trade and lyable to the same Customs and Duties on Import and Export And that the Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks Prohibitions Restrictions and Regulations of Trade and the Customs and Duties on Import and Export settled in England when the Union commences shall from and after the Union take place throughout the whole United Kingdom
The Act is quite specific and states “from and after the Union” it is also states “throughout the whole United Kingdom”. So if it is the consensus that Northern Ireland is a third state and a part of the “whole United Kingdom” it cannot have differing regulations of trade or customs and duties on imports and exports than those of Scotland.
It has already been established that certain parts of the treaty are regarded as unchangeable such as those sections referring to the monarchy and freedom of trade. However, the UK Government claims that it has the right to change any part of the treaty including those parts that are deemed unchangeable, this right is claimed through an English act of parliament that pre-dates the acts of the union and I doubt very much that it would stand if challenged.
It is my opinion that any changes to, or repeal of, any part of the Union with England Act 1707 must be agreed by both parties, any changes to the act without the required consent of the Scottish People, would be considered a breach of the act.
Such a breach would result in the agreement being broken and if no resolution was found then Scotland would immediately be released from its commitments and duties under the act.
The fact that the UK Government has tried three times already to push through its “EU Withdrawal Agreement” that proposes a different trading relationship of one part of the United Kingdom to that of Scotland shows us that they are prepared to ignore the treaty in order to get a deal pushed through.
We need to let Westminster know that the people of Scotland do not agree to any legislation being passed, or agreements being made that will remove or hinder our “full Freedom and Intercourse of Trade and Navigation to and from any port or place within the said United Kingdom” as stated in section IV of the “Union with England Act 1707” and that we do not agree to any amendments to, or to the repeal of section VI of the “Union with England Act 1707” in order to facilitate “a different trading or customs relationship” for Northern Ireland that will leave Scotland at a disadvantage.
We also need to make it known that any such breach of the “Union with England Act 1707” is unacceptable and will result in the agreement being broken, ending the union and releasing Scotland from it’s commitments and duties under the act.
A treaty is a legal document very much like a contract, any breach will allow Scotland to leave the union and proceed as an independent country. It is now in the hands of Scotland’s MP’s in Westminster to stand up for the rights of the Scottish people and if the treaty is broken they have a legal right to end the union and begin negotiations on the division of the two kingdoms…
We need to empower our MP’s in Westminster to end the union if the treaty is broken over brexit, you can find more information on how we can achieve this at www.declaration.scot