Scotland, England, Splits and Elections
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 04:24PM
Zina Rohan

In Septmber this year the Scots will have a referendum to decide whether or not they want to get out of the UK and above all be free of Westminster.

If they say Yes, they won't actually leave till 2017.

In May 2015 the UK will have a general election whose date was fixed back in 2010.

Currently there is only one Conservative MP in Scotland. The others (at present) are largely Labour and then Scottish Nationalist. Without the Scottish Labour MPs the Labour Party in the rest of the UK could only hope to win a General Election should there (unaccountably) be a landslide, as there was in 1997. In other circumstances the Conservatives might be guaranteed to win outright more regularly, and conceivably could get away in the future without having to form coalitions with any other party.

Now: Let's assume the Scots vote Yes, and yes I know at the moment the No vote is somewhat stronger, but that could still change, and anyway wait - it's not my point. If they vote Yes, the current system will persist beyond the next General Election. If there are still a considerable number of Labour MPs returned in Scotland in the General Elecion of 2015, before the Independence thing actually comes through, what will happen in 2017? 

Imagine. The Scots become Independent on January 1st 2017 (or whichever date in that year has been nominated as Independence Day); will the Scottish Labour MPs, who will on that date be representing a foreign country, have to vacate their seats in Westminster? In other words, will the rest of the UK have to have another General Election? Or do we simply wait for the Prime Minister at the time to lose a vote of confidence in the House?

Please...should any constitutional historian by chance read this, will you tell me?

Article originally appeared on Zina Rohan (http://zinarohan.squarespace.com/).
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