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« The anti-war Scot Bob Dylan "struggled to keep up with" | Main | Wikipedia enters anti-Scottish BBC radio row »

August 31, 2010

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Nice piece again Joan.Were a Catholic to become monarch he/she could appoint a Catholic Bishop to be Archbishop of Canterbury. That would really put the ba' on the slates. The Church of England is a foundation institution of the Anglo-British state.You can see the panic this engenders among the establishment. It is related to property -titles-the lot.It would be a Thomas a Beckett situation all over again.

This whole problem will be solved with the 'Republic of Scotland Act' setting out the written constitution of the independent Scots republic that I hope to be around long enough to be a citizen of!

It might be a bit boring without the inspired and demented Pastor Jack.

On the substantive matter discussed I hold no strong view despite being of Catholic stock but of republican sentiment though i recognise the insult that this situation presents. I am rather more concerned about the inability of an RC to become PM. The simple solution for us is independence of course

thats pretty cool I cant even get a stamp of approval from my parish Priest!

The reluctance to repeal the English ‘Act of Settlement’ has little to do with religion in general or anti-Catholicism in particular. The problem is that it opens another can of worms: namely the Treaty of Union 1707 and the acts of the former Scottish and English parliaments that gave effect to that treaty.

Specifically, Article II recites (not merely references) the anti-Catholic provisions of the Act of Settlement, thus reading them into the very fabric of the Union in a most fundamental way. Granted the language of Article II (‘excluded from, and forever incapable’) is not quite as strong as that of Article XIX protecting the rights of the Count of Session and College of Justice (‘for all time coming’), but there is a strong argument that Article II is entrenched. Repeal of the English Act of Settlement is therefore pointless unless there are consequential repeals or amendments to the acts giving effect to the Treaty of Union.

There is much legal debate as to the constitutional position of the Westminster parliament vis-à-vis the Treaty of Union and its rights to repeal or amend the entrenched provisions. Scots and English constitutional law differs widely in this regard (see MacCormick v Lord Advocate [1953 SC 396]), but regardless of which view might prevail in the face of an almost inevitable legal challenge, repeal is, from Westminster’s point of view, just ‘not worth the candle’.

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