Constitutional matters in the UK - and their effects on expats.

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30 Mar 2017 11:18 PM by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 987 posts Send private message


There has been a lot of disscussion on the BREXIT threat about a possible new scottish referendum and other constitutional matters.

These could eventually affect expats in differing ways if the UK did break up.

I have deep thoughts on these matters. I am English, I beleive in the UK, and have Scottish, and probably Welsh, ancestry as well.

It is my view that UK governments have made a cock up of constituional matters during my lifetime and would like to start with the following questions:

By what right do UK governments have to continuously meddle in the political settlement?

What should become of the House of Lords?

Should the queen ever use her residual powers or refuse to sign a bill approved by the two houses?

How often should referenda on the same subject be held?

Is a straight majority of those voting the correct measure for constitutional matters.

Why is no party any longer unionist? (The solution always seems to be more devolution not integration).

If the UK manages a good fair and eqitable deal with the EU should an Independant Scotland expect to inherit those terms, have to renegociate, or become an independant member of the EU? or would the EU treat Scotland as a new country needing to deal under WTO terms until a new deal is struck?


This message was last edited by tteedd on 30/03/2017.

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30 Mar 2017 11:24 PM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message

The terms of reference for the thread are too broad.  Can you narrow it down to encourage debate on this?


Best wishes, Brian


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31 Mar 2017 1:57 AM by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 987 posts Send private message

Hi Briando

The part after the hyphen can be understood on this site. Maybe it should not need adding but the application to expats is rarely near the surface on the Brexit thread.

If it just said 'referenda' I think it would loose it's overall context when I believe referenda should be considered along with the rest of the constitutional settlement.

So, as with most threads, if it attracts posts, it will be driven by that which concerns posters. They have a wide remit!

But to make it contentious and attract posters I will say that, if I were prime minister, I would say 'that there will  be no futher constitutional changes or referenda during the term of this government and that I would put the need for a constitutional commision to the people in my next party manifesto should I still be leader'.

I'm sure, judging by the Brexit thread, there are those that have strong opinions on this.

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31 Mar 2017 2:15 AM by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 987 posts Send private message

And, importing comment from the BREXIT thread:


The scottish people have as much right to a referendum to leave the uk as the uk had to a vote to leave the eu


The electorate UK were given a referenda on the constitutional matter of leaving the EU by act of the UK government. They voted to leave.

The electorate in Scotland were given a referendum on Scottish independence by act of the UK government. They voted to stay in the union.

Both of these matters have been decided. In both cases it would be undemocratic and there would be no point in having continuous referenda until you obtain the reverse result. You might just as well give the politicians that bleat the most the result they want and save the cost of going to the people.

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31 Mar 2017 4:34 AM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message

Nicola sturgeon has tonight signed a request letter asking permission for another referendum.   

The parliament returned a 69 to 59 vote in favour of that. 

She organised a cosy photo shoot of her writing the letter under a table lamp on a side table to her sofa.  Her shoes kicked off and relaxing with a closed case and a glass of water on top.   

So when Teresa May gets the letter and if she has the mandate to refuse, what should her photo shoot be?  


Best wishes, Brian


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31 Mar 2017 11:05 AM by ads Star rating. 4107 posts Send private message

This is not a game as to who should have the best photo shoot,or who has the biggest ego in this scenario, this is a serious matter that affects all of British nationals in the most profound way.

I would rather ask what has happened to us as remaining a "family of people", a proud people with shared values and YEARS of striving for a civilised society with essential regulatory structures in place to protect and curtail abuse, for respect and genuine caring for our fellow countryman, north or south, east or west of our UK union borders, with respect and comprehension of our different historical backgrounds, but with a view to all our futures, where we do not feel threatened from lack of control or unable to adequately respond to stresses from within, with one hand tied behind our backs. It is so important for our politicians from all political persuasions to recognise how essential it is to feel we are listened to as citizens, but equally for us to retain a sense of realism and never ultimately compromise what it has taken us so long to achieve as a "family" of people.

We have to strive for solutions with a realistic view to the whole nation's welfare and best interests, and temper selfish unrealistic aspirations that could do immense harm, not only economically but socially. The threat comes not only from those with unrealistic political ideologies that could negatively impact us all, but from within if we let those whose intent is to divide and rule, to break up the "family".

We need role models who are prepared to work together through thick or thin, that strive to retain our democracy that allows such freedom of speech to challenge one another in this manner and strive for fair share of economic resources spread in a realistic manner across the nation, but never losing sight of the wider picture and the need for us all as citizens as a whole to make our political system accountable in a timely manner, as fair as is reasonably possible, but also with focus on the overwhelming need to respect one another in that process and retain the sense of "family" that has remained for so many years, each willing to help one another,

Those whose intent is to divide and rule without due regard to the whole family of people and all that we have achieved since the war, have the potential to do a great disservice to us all. We should never turn our back on the ability and strength of us all working together as a whole family, with shared values but realistic aspirations, but more importantly we need to remain respectful of one another and work together to gain greater accountability and a fair society from those who currently hold power and influence.



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31 Mar 2017 1:15 PM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message

Exactly, so why the photo shoot at all ads?

Seems to come across as a game to me, and the PM warned against treating it as such.  Just giving my impression of things right now, in my opinion its an opportunistic ill thought through strategy, which has elements of being a game.

The photos were not taken by accident, they were set up for a reason.


Best wishes, Brian


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31 Mar 2017 4:00 PM by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 987 posts Send private message

Mrs May has indicated that some powers repatriated from the EU may be devolved the the Scottish parliament. Another sop to the Nationalists?

The real first Scottish referendum was the one where they rejected devolved government. Despite this result Tony Blair (believing that Scotland would be a Labour fiefdom) gave them devolution anyway. Thus giving a massive platform to the Nationalists.

The next Scottish referendum (pundits insist on calling it the first) was less than two years ago. We should hold Sturgeon to her word when she said it was the descision of a lifetime.

Our British national government should not be feeding this petty Nationalism. If they really beleive in the Union they should be moving in the opposite direction. If the makeup of the devolved government remains Nationist then they (the nationalists) should fund everything from Scottish resources. (If you vote nationalist you should get what you voted for).

Long term, if the situation remains, then there should be another plebesite but the outcome should be independence or integration. There is no way that the rest of the UK should financially support a devolved government run by nationists who just want to be negative about everything until they get their way.

Meanwhile those of us in England, many with Scottish ancestry, who value the union, should raise our voices and ensure that the Scottish electorate is in no doubt that we value their historic and future contribution. We are on one island and have a shared history. We willingly support regions of GB that are disadvantage if they feel, as we do, that we are one nation. 

We GB/UK are of an optimum size where the electorate is not to far from the government but still large enough to make ourselves felt economically and politically in the world.


This message was last edited by tteedd on 31/03/2017.

This message was last edited by tteedd on 31/03/2017.

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01 Apr 2017 10:56 AM by jgribbon Star rating in Glasgow, Scotland. 16 posts Send private message

There's an easy answer to all of this.  England and Wales leave the UK.  The United Kingdom of Scotland and Northern Ireland remains in the EU, along with their dependency in Gibraltar.  UK ex-pats keep their citizenship and their EU rights.  Scotland is happy, Ireland is happy, Gibraltar is happy, Spain is happpy, ex-pats are happy.... what's not to like?

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01 Apr 2017 11:00 AM by vickya Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Brian, suggestion from here (not me) re Mrs M's photo shoot was that she should be on the toilet. 


This message was last edited by vickya on 01/04/2017.

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01 Apr 2017 12:29 PM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message

That would work Vicky.   Maybe with the leather trousers at the ankles? 

Hmmm. Maybe I should stop thinking and get out more today!

sorry all back on thread now


Best wishes, Brian


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01 Apr 2017 1:06 PM by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 987 posts Send private message

 Scotland is happy, Ireland is happy, Gibraltar is happy, Spain is happpy, ex-pats are happy.... what's not to like?


Overseas territories?

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01 Apr 2017 2:29 PM by jgribbon Star rating in Glasgow, Scotland. 16 posts Send private message


Overseas territories?

There will still be a union.  There will still be overseas territories (inc Gibraltar).  Even the flag will still be red white and blue.  Only change is that England and Wales will be outside, Free to determine their own trade and immigration policy, to make their own laws.  That's what the majorities in England and Wales voted for and the majorities in Scotland, N Ireland and Gibraltar voted against.  So why would it not make everyone happy?  What am I missing?

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01 Apr 2017 3:07 PM by jgribbon Star rating in Glasgow, Scotland. 16 posts Send private message

Reading a couple of the comments earlier in the thread about how many previous referenda/ums there have been and the status of the outcomes, I've done some fact checking.  So here are the facts...

Referendum number 1:-

1 March 1979, Scotland voted in FAVOUR of devolution by 52% to 48%. But an undemocratic condition attached to the vote nullified it by assuming that anyone who didn't vote at all was an automatic “no” voter. Interesting that the percentages there are identical to those for the UK in the Brexit referendum. If the same rule had been applied this time we would not be having Brexit.

Referendum number 2:-

11 September 1997, Scotland voted in favour of devolution, again, this time by a massive 74% to 26%.

Referendum number 3:-

18 September 2014, Scotland voted against independence by 55% to 45%. Principle among the promises of the “Better Together” campaign and the UK Government was that a “no” vote would guarantee Scotland's continued membership of the EU.  

Referendum number 4:-

23 June 2016, UK voted to leave the EU by 52% to 48%. (Only 37% of registered voters and only 34% of the electorate actually voted leave – meaning this would have failed the condition applied to the 1979 vote). Scotland voted decisively to remain.

Referendum number 5:-

Date to be confirmed.  Now is not the time!  That's one thing Teresa May and the SNP agree on.  The time will be when the terms and the mechanism for the UK to leave the EU have been agreed. Scotland will have another vote on membership of the UK. As there has been a breach of the promises made in the 2014 referendum and the SNP made a manifesto promise to hold a referendum in these circumstances, and along with the pro-independence Greens won a majority at the intervening Scottish Parliament election, that's surely the right and democratic thing to do.

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01 Apr 2017 3:41 PM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message

I agree with the referendum number 5' that's exactly right, now isn't the time but because a material change can be shown, the manisfesto of the current leading party, they surely have the right to bring this back into parliamentary discussion. 

It isn't to assume that everyone who votes for a party votes for and agrees with everything in a manifesto of course, there can be some pretty toxic things in manifestos anyway. 

The other referendums were structured as yes or no, and the terms of reference were agreed upon by parliament both devolved and union.   The question was debated on for some time I remember.   So I don't follow any other voting issues or side issues that were deals in the referendums for voting purposes, they should be agreed before the voting process. 

And I do think Scotland will achieve their goals, and get on with their own finance, governance, taxation, social security and health policies, supported from their own economy. It is what they seem to want as a nation, so why not. 


Best wishes, Brian


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01 Apr 2017 3:54 PM by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1754 posts Send private message


Sorry but I don't get thsi wring tiem business surley it woud be better to negitaute an exit form teh EU with teh nation so if the UK who want to exit only

TM will waste time and effort negiotaiting things for the uk that incldue the demands of scotland if they end up voting to leave the UK.

If TM knows one way or another (i.e.. Scotland remain or leave the UK) then agreeing a deal on that basis would be beneficial

What are the English and the govt afraid of?

WHat TM is forgetting is that the English do no own or control the UK much as they think they do.

The SNP has kept its manifesto promise and the refernedum shoudl happen ASAP just as the tories did for brexit

The longer a referednum is denied by the English will only fuel the fire further



This message was last edited by Tadd1966 on 01/04/2017.

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”

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01 Apr 2017 4:22 PM by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 1982 posts Send private message


Simply because an agreement to hold a referendum for independence will mean at least a two year time frame to carry it out.   Then s further 2 years to become separated.  

So the negotiations have to take place as one UK nation regardless.   If we negotiate things including Scotland, and manage to include some Scottish input, as we have included four of their highest requests, then Scotland have a clear view of the future.  

Sturgeon does recognise that the union is at its most vulnerable right now and is using that as a political reason, in my opinion.  

TM knows the Scots are not tories ( neither am I) and sturgeon has lots to jump on right now.   But I recognise the strategy I think, and it's divisive, opportunistic and dangerous for Scotland right now I feel. 


Best wishes, Brian


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01 Apr 2017 5:17 PM by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 987 posts Send private message

There has been discussion about majorities for referenda.

In a general election a straight majority in each seat is reasonable. But a region or countrywide referendum on independence it only needs a yes vote once in any number of rounds for an irrevokable decision to be made and therefore perhaps a majority of all the electorate is a fair measure. If it is to be a simple majority of votes cast then surely the other members of the union should have a say?

In the case of Brexit a straight majority was fair as there was no plebisite when we went in.

In the case of independence for a part of the UK after three hundred years with one parliament or much more, and 400 years or more as one monarchy surely all people of the union have an interest.

It has been quoted that there are more people whith some Scottish ancestry living in the SE of England than the population of Scotland.

If we followed the logic of ad hoc referenda where could we end up? Wales, Northumberland, Wessex, Cornwall, Anglia...........

Are politicians, elected to govern, the right people to decide to alter constitution matters of all kinds? Was it really Mr Heath's perogative to take us into the EEC? Should Blair have messed with the make up of the UK and the house of Lords? It seems to me that these peole are elected to govern, not change the constitutional settlement, that when they do it results in a mess and that we ought to find a better way of settling constitutional matters.

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01 Apr 2017 5:23 PM by tteedd Star rating in Hertfordshire & Punt.... 987 posts Send private message

So here are the facts...


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01 Apr 2017 5:24 PM by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1754 posts Send private message


Why would we have to wait 2 years for a referendum why not 2 months

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”

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