Never mind the bollocks, here come the Supreme Court judges. Whatever your views on the Scottish constitution, you at least know now that our shiny devolved parliament may not amount to a large hill of beans when it comes to decision-making.
The Supreme Court’s decision to force the UK Government to put the triggering of Brexit negotiations with the European Union before Parliament was welcomed by many. But it was accompanied by a decision that the devolved legislatures of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales did not have to be consulted in any formal way.
Although the decision was no shock to Scottish legal observers, it undermines the promises made in the Smith Commission report that provided the basis of the most recent Scotland Act which awarded more powers to Holyrood. Then, politicians assumed that the “Sewel Convention”, by which the Scottish Parliament be consulted on issues concerning any changes to devolved matters, had been enshrined in law. The Supreme Court effectively ruled this week that this did not pertain to Brexit, effectively leaving all power in such matters to Westminster.
What does this all mean, and should we be alarmed by it? Podcast host Derek Bateman turned to Andrew Tickell, political blogger and law lecturer, to find out more. They were joined by journalist and film-maker Maurice Smith as they chewed over all this and the week’s other political events in Scotland, London and Washington.
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