Tom Griffin (London, OK):In the wake of the Glasgow East by-election, commentators such as Iain MacWhirter, Peter Oborne and Simon Jenkins, have been examining the prospect of Scottish independence with increasing seriousness.
The Constitution Unit's Professor Robert Hazell provides a useful counterpoint over at Comment is Free. He suggests that there are four major obstacles the SNP must overcome to achieve its goal.
- Winning a vote in the Scottish Parliament authorising a referendum.
- Winning a referendum to authorise independence negotiations.
- Negotiating terms with the British Government and with the European Union.
- Winning a second referendum on the agreed terms.
The final hurdle is Hazell's most distinctive contribution, as Guy Aitchison noted back in May, and may be the most contentious. Some might equate insisting on a second referendum with a eurocrat-style refusal to accept the result of the first.
Such tactics look increasingly unlikely to save the Lisbon Treaty, and they would not necessarily save the union.