No justification for second referendum

Gina Miller speaking outside The Supreme Court in London after Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 24, 2017. Ministers are braced for the Supreme Court to decide that Parliament must be given a vote on starting the divorce proceedings. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Gina Miller speaking outside The Supreme Court in London after Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 24, 2017. Ministers are braced for the Supreme Court to decide that Parliament must be given a vote on starting the divorce proceedings. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
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HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By MP John Hayes

Last week, the Supreme Court –a body conjured up by Tony Blair and typical of his kind of hubris which seeks solutions to problems which don’t exist – ruled that Parliament must vote before Britain’s departure from the EU can begin.

The court case was unnecessary – the British people voted to leave the European Union last year, in a fair and free referendum for which Parliament had legislated.

Those who brought the case to the court did so to frustrate the people’s will. Sadly, there are some, with more money than sense, scheming to stop what they don’t like.

The Supreme Court’s ruling included one useful clarification, however, that Scotland and the other devolved nations cannot block, nor interfere with, Britain’s exit from the EU.

Among the stranger aspects of the immediate post-referendum period was the grandstanding of Scottish Nationalists.

The SNP greatly overplayed their hand by insisting, firstly, that Scotland should have its own arrangement post-Brexit and, secondly, that the vote presented an opportunity to hold another ballot on Scottish independence.

The obvious irony – of an attempt to take sovereignty from Westminster only to surrender it to the unaccountable European Union – was, apparently, lost on the SNP.

Given that voters north of the border overwhelmingly rejected separation little more than two years ago, there is no democratic justification for Scottish Nationalists re-running referenda until they get the result they want.

Indeed, recent polls show support for independence has actually fallen. Thankfully, last week, the Government made clear that it would not back another vote under any circumstances.

This absurd fantasy that Holyrood should have any kind of a say on the terms of Brexit is a reminder of the pitfalls of devolution – another New Labour creation which I strongly opposed at its genesis.

Though English MPs now enjoy a veto over laws which only affect England – a solution to the long-standing problem whereby Scottish Parliamentarians had a say over laws which impacted upon us – we should resist, at every turn, the wholesale creation of a federal UK.

With no history of the kind of regionalism that a federal state would surely need to be legitimate and successful, federalism is just not right for Britain.

In 1973, we entered the EEC as one United Kingdom and, in a few years time, we will leave the EU as one kingdom.

In misunderstanding what is as clear as crystal, Scottish Nationalists might do well to remember the words of Scotland’s famed author, Arthur Conan Doyle, who said: “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”