What is the democratic argument for Scottish independence?

Scotland is a nation and nations are better run when the people within that nation make the decisions that affect them democratically. The idea of Scotland as a nation was something that wasn’t in dispute until recently with Westminster politicians treating Scotland as a region or a simple territory.

Also, until recently, Westminster party politicians would argue that the UK was a partnership of equal nations. It was one of their key arguments during the 2014 referendum. Now a Supreme Court decision has run a coach and horses through that argument and revealed that those parties don’t believe in equal partnership between the nations of the UK. Only independence can give Scotland the power to be an equal partner with the rest of the UK.

Already Westminster politicians are threatening devolution – which gives Scotland some power over the policies that affect us. Despite a vast majority of people in Scotland voting for devolution in 1997, Westminster politicians are already overruling legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood votes that veto Westminster interfering in devolved Scottish policies.

Scotland also doesn’t have the power to make major decisions over issues like energy and the economy – those are still held by Westminster. A Westminster government that Scotland didn’t elect and which imposes unwanted policies on Scotland like austerity cuts and Brexit.

Brexit is a case study on why Scotland should be independent. Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit but the Westminster government has imposed it on Scotland whilst giving Northern Ireland special status and access to the largest single market in the world. And that Brexit – also supported by Labour – has had a disastrous effect on our economy, cost of living and public services. Only with independence can we reverse this self-harming policy.

In the 2016 Holyrood election the voters of Scotland elected a majority of MSPs in support of an independence referendum – more than in the 2011 election which led to the 2014 election. In 2014 Westminster parties promised and signed up to respecting the votes of the Scottish people when it came to an independence referendum. Now they all – both Labour and the Lib Dems – have broken that promise and back a Westminster Tory Secretary of State who doesn’t even recognise Scotland as a nation.

The Westminster parties are denying the people of Scotland their democratic rights and the SNP is the only party strong enough to stand up for Scottish democracy.