Letter: Scotland still a sovereign nation

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Government tells us that the devolution White Paper "will make it clear that sovereignty will stay with the Westminster Parliament" ("Blair tells Scots to go it alone", 21 July).

The White Paper cannot do this. Sovereignty cannot stay where it has never been. This is not just a question of the sovereignty of the Scottish people. It is also a question of whether the Act of Union created a single sovereign state or a political union between two sovereign states.

The bulk of the text of the Act of Union rehearses things which the Westminster Parliament may not do. This is not a mark of a sovereign power. The Act of Union no more transferred Scottish sovereignty to London than the Treaty of Rome transferred it to Brussels. Any government attempt to change this would be a constitutional change so big that devolution would be trivial by comparison.

Earl RUSSELL

House of Lords

London SW1

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