Introducing his Scotland (Self Determination) Bill which has the support of SNP MPs Joanna Cherry KC MP, Douglas Chapman MP and Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, in the House of Commons on Wednesday 1 February ALBA Westminster Leader Neale Hanvey MP will state:


“It is the people of Scotland who are sovereign not Westminster.  The question of whether the ancient nation of Scotland should be an independent country once again continues to be the subject of much debate, clearly indicating that the matter is far from settled.

“Of course, it is entirely proper that any country should continually consider such matters because Scotland will only become independent, as and when, a majority of the people of Scotland choose that path. 

“Yet this requires a democratic mechanism that is constitutional and satisfies international legal precedent.

“This Bill seeks to standardise and codify such a requirement in line with both.

“The 1989 affirmation given in this place acknowledged the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, and in accordance with the internationally accepted principle of the fundamental human right of peoples to Self Determination.

“The effect of this bill should be uncontroversial for every member, it merely establishes in law an equivalent mechanism to the principle, already conceded by the UK Government, in relation to a border poll in Northern Ireland, that no such referendum may be held sooner than seven years after the previous such referendum.

“Mr Speaker, the decision on Scotland’s future ultimately and rightly must rest in the hands of the people of Scotland. And in the constitutional tradition of popular sovereignty in our great country, it is the Scottish people who remain sovereign. This Bill is neutral in its effect. It favours neither one side or the other, but it seeks to codify the Scottish people’s right to choose their own constitutional future. 

“If democracy matters at all, every member in this house should support this Bill regardless of their view on Scottish independence.”

Speaking prior to the Bill being introduced Neale Hanvey said:

“In introducing this Bill I am taking the fight for Scottish Democracy to the heart of Westminster.  I warmly welcome the support of this Bill from my former SNP MP colleagues who, like me recognise that Scotland has the right to self-determination and wholeheartedly agree that the power to legislate for an independence referendum must rest with Holyrood not Westminster.”


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