This is the Draft Manifesto circulating among SNP branch groups. I publish it as received and without comment – I am not a member of the SNP since 2017 – pointing out only that the odd typos are not mine, so I leave uncorrected. I am told the draft is the composition of my old colleague, Mike Russell, now SNP President. I don’t believe it, so probably a hoax, but written by an SNP member of a loony unionist fly tipping?
We pledge to Protect Scotland’s Parliament and honour the will of the Scottish People.
Since at least 1320 it has been the accepted legal position in Scotland that it is the People of Scotland that are Sovereign and that all power wielded by our government is devolved to it by the People and with the consent of the People.
The form that government takes has changed many times in the intervening 700 years but the principle remains the same, all power flows ultimately from the People and their consent to be so governed.
Just over 20 years ago the People of Scotland instructed the UK parliament in Westminster to further devolve some of the powers they grant to it to a new Parliament closer to home at Holyrood.
A mere 6 years ago the People of Scotland voted overwhelmingly to make that parliament in Holyrood permanent, to never have its powers reduced, undermined, or removed by Westminster without their consent. Indeed they voted to greatly increase those powers and to enshrine in law the Sewell Convention that enforces Holyrood’s primacy over Westminster with respect to its devolved powers.
Since that date many new powers have come to Holyrood but the Tory government in Westminster, that has no Scottish mandate, has repeatedly chipped away at the powers of Holyrood and passed laws with devolved impacts over the express rejection of those laws by the Scottish People’s representatives both in Holyrood and Westminster. It has ignored the Scottish People’s elected representatives who voted against every single step of the EU Referendum process and has dragged Scotland out of the EU despite a clear instruction from the Scottish People not to do so.
With this manifesto the Scottish National Party explicitly seeks the authority of the People of Scotland to enact laws that protect the powers of the Parliament at Holyrood from further erosion, that enshrine in law the principle that Westminster may not pass laws that alter devolved law in Scotland without the consent of the Parliament at Holyrood or the consent of the Scottish People expressed in a clear referendum on the matter, and may call referendums on expanding the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament at any time, referendums that will carry the full force of the Sovereignty of the Scottish People.
Should the political parties that support this call represent a majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament after this election that will be interpreted as clear authority from the Sovereign Body in Scotland to enact said reforms protecting the Parliament at Holyrood and guaranteeing that the People of Scotland will always henceforth have the opportunity to express their wishes in a legally binding manner.
Hold a referendum on Scotland’s Future.
In 2016 the Scottish National Party sought election and formed a government in Scotland on the promise that should there be a sustained majority in favour of Independence or a material change in circumstances to those that prevailed in 2014, like being dragged out of the EU against the will of the Scottish People, we would seek to hold a further referendum on whether Scotland should become an Independent Nation again and chart its own course as part of the European family of Nations by the end of that parliament.
As each of those conditions has been met repeated requests have been made to Westminster to enable that referendum by temporarily devolving the power to explicitly do so through a Section 30 order as defined in the Scotland Act.
This manifesto represents our last and final request for those powers that the People of Scotland clearly voted for in 2016 to be granted to Holyrood by the mechanism of a Section 30 order.
Should that request not be fulfilled by the date of the election in May and should a majority of MSP’s committed to holding such a referendum be elected to Holyrood in that election the Scottish National Party will immediately move to pass legislation in Holyrood to hold such a referendum as soon as it is safe to do so.
The Scottish National Party will continue to press the UK government in Westminster to honour the will of the Scottish People to grant a Section 30 order and to participate in that referendum in good faith but we will not delay giving the People of Scotland the opportunity to express their will in this matter a moment longer than absolutely necessary.
The UK government can choose to honour Scottish constitutional law or continue to operate in flagrant breach of it. Its choices in this matter will speak volumes in the international community.
Regardless, the Scottish National Party will honour the wishes of the People of Scotland.
This ‘draft’ was dismissed as a hoax by an SNP spokesperson, but on Sunday the 14 March, the following was posted on Twitter by Chris Hanlon, SNP, one of the authors of the draft:
“Replying to @keithtribe, @GraceBrodie and @Feorlean –
Sorry Keith, I thought I had made it very plain that the document in question was not a ‘draft manifesto’ but a rough draft of a proposal circulated as a discussion document intended to inform the manifesto development process.”