David McHutchon: Without Sovereignty, Scotland Is Only Playing at Politics

On Friday 1 April, Restore Scotland relaunched as Sovereignty at a meeting of members in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire[1]. We remain committed to full independence for Scotland from the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom as opposed to the independence currently on offer, which is merely another form of unionism willing to squander political and economic sovereignty. The former SNP deputy leader and Sovereignty member, Jim Fairlie Sr., spoke at the meeting on our commitment to an independent currency with full economic sovereignty.  

This invasion of Ukraine has brought the issue of sovereignty to the fore. In recent months, US President Joe Biden affirmed unwavering commitment to “sovereignty and territorial integrity”[2], UN Secretary General António Guterres said we must respect Ukraine’s “sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity”[3] and, most farcically, the unelected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that the EU “will succeed through unity, increased sovereignty and joint strategic investments”[4].

In February, with a staggering lack of self-awareness, our UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Ukraine asks for nothing except for peace and sovereignty, able to choose its own destiny and seek its own alliances like any other independent state.”[5] He added: “Britain has always stood for these principles and we will not flinch now.”[6] Sovereignty, as a concept, exists to protect those who are weak from the strong and the strong from themselves, yet it is precisely these leaders who oppose sovereignty for some, who now appeal to it on behalf of others.

National sovereignty places territorial limits on state power, enhances the potential for nimble governance in accordance with national interests and prevents the emergence of global tyrants, who are a threat to individual liberty and global peace. The historic cession of political and economic sovereignty and mismanagement of powers situated in the capitals of England and Belgium have caused many to reflect deeply upon whose shoulders we should allow decision-making responsibility to hang. These questions were raised in the referenda of 2014 and 2016.  

If there is a crumb of comfort to be drawn from spiralling costs, it is that our secession from the EU means we are no longer welded to 27 other fragile economies over which we have no leverage. Describing as “cobblers” the notion we would be miraculously insulated from a cost-of-living crisis if we were still beholden to Brussels, Julian Jessop laid bare the perilous state of inflation in Europe. In The Sunday Telegraph on 3 April, he pointed to the euro area where it rose to 7.5%, Germany 7.6%, Brussels 9.3% and Netherlands, where it ballooned to 11.9%[7].

Welded to Westminster, Scotland remains betwixt a litany of political, economic and cultural crises. We are tied to a political machine with minimal economic leverage amidst a commodities price explosion, global food shortages, shuttering supply chains and tottering credit markets. To none of these did the Spring Budget offer reassurance. Furthermore, we treat our vulnerable appallingly, be it children in schools with slumping standards, our impoverished due to needless bureaucracy or women prisoners put at risk by inane gender reform protocols.

We would hope things were better in Scotland but even SNP President, Michael Russell, reaffirmed the forlorn aspiration of an independence referendum in 2023[8] and used his public platform in Arbroath to criticise Brexit, which is a helpful reminder of their commitment to weld EU membership to any future independence prospectus. Without sovereignty, Scotland is only playing at politics but we, as a party, are committed to building a movement across our country founded upon the fundamental principle of national sovereignty. Here is what we will seek to do: 

  • Politically, we will never compromise on our commitment Scotland’s right to self-determination. National sovereignty is our birthright and an inheritance we should seek to pass on to our children. It will be a non-negotiable in any constitutional settlement. 
  • Economically, we will seek to capitalise on Scotland’s natural resources to make the case for independence as well as trading globally. Development of Scotland’s existing industries will be central as we create the conditions for manufacturing to prosper.
  • Culturally, we will advocate for the traditional social mores which made Scotland a safe, secure, stable and strong culture and we will strive to become an independent country which places freedom and justice at the heart of all it seeks to do.  

Why not join us and help build a sovereign Scotland?

David McHutchon (@DavidMcHutchon), Party Leader, Sovereignty

[1] Spowart, N. (2022) Available at: ‘Sovereignty: Brexit-backing Yes party relaunches for election’, Sunday National, 3 April 2022 (Accessed: 5 April 2022)

[2] Author unspecified. (2021) Available at: ‘U.S. committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity -White House’, Reuters, 10 December 2021 (Accessed: 5 April 2022)

[3] Author unspecified. (2022) Available at: ‘Secretary-General Says Russian Federation’s Recognition of ‘Independent’ Donetsk, Luhansk Violate Ukraine’s Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity’, United Nations, 23 February 2022 (Accessed: 5 April 2022)

[4] von der Leyen, U, (2022) Available at: ‘Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter: “[The EU] will succeed through unity, increased sovereignty & joint strategic investments in the green and digital transitions’, Twitter @vonderleyen, 28 February 2022 (Accessed: 5 April 2022)

[5] Author unspecified. (2022) Available at: ‘Ukraine asks for nothing except for peace and sovereignty, Johnson said in a video message from NATO headquarters’, Rubryka, 10 February 2022 (Accessed: 5 April 2022)

[6] Ibid.

[7] Jessop, J. (2022) Available at: ‘Why Britain is doing better than the EU’, The Sunday Telegraph, 3 April 2022 (Accessed: 5 April 2022)

[8] Duffy, J. (2022) Available at: ‘Michael Russell tells Arbroath independence rally Scotland is on path to indyref2’ , Sunday National, 3 April 2022 (Accessed: 5 April 2022)