The West Lothian question
On Tuesday (16/1), it’s exactly 300 years since the Act of Union between Scotland and England was ratified (taking effect on 1st May).
This has of course prompted a lot of newspaper columns to be written about the likelihood of Scottish Independence and so on. Another related topic that was discussed in the Sunday Herald today was the West Lothian question. One aspect of this that I’ve never seen discussed but which I nevertheless find important is this:
When the Scottish parliament was created, the number of Scottish members of the British parliament in Westminster was reduced to reflect the fact that many Scottish questions were not to be decided in London any more. However, if the Tory idea of barring Scottish members from voting on questions affecting only England is adopted, this is entirely wrong. If the Scottish members are reduced to voting on very few topics (foreign policy and so on), surely they should be overrepresented on those topics to reflect that it’s a union, not a unitary country.
However, I’m not going to press this topic too much, since I’d prefer Scottish independence anyway. 🙂