British Union & Sovereignty Party

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British Union & Sovereignty Party
LeaderJohn Mortimer[1]
Founded2015
HeadquartersUK Unionist Offices
272 Bath Street
Glasgow
G2 4JR[2]
IdeologyScottish unionism
British Unionism
Social conservatism
Social democracy
Euroscepticism
Political positionCentre[citation needed]
Colours            
Blue, white and red
Scottish Parliament
0 / 129
Local government in Scotland
0 / 1,227

British Union & Sovereignty Party[3] is a Scottish unionist political party founded in December 2015 as A Better Britain – Unionist Party by activists from the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence.[4] Unlike the mainstream unionist parties, it is critical of the devolution process, which it views as a "slow road to separation".[5] The party has a statement of principles based on the four themes of Union, constitution, industry and sovereignty.[6]

History[edit]

A Better Britain – Unionist Party was formed by activists from the Better Together campaign who opposed the devolution process, and who felt that the mainstream unionist parties had abandoned unionist values in calling for more powers for the Scottish Parliament.[7] It was launched on 31 December 2015, and one of its co-founders, Steven Gordon, conducted an interview with Andrew Neil on the BBC Daily Politics in early January.[8] Candidates of the party have since stood in the 2016 Scottish parliamentary elections and the 2017 Scottish local elections.

In October 2017, the party renamed itself as British Union & Sovereignty Party, or Union & Sovereignty for short, to highlight their twin pro-Union, pro-Brexit stance.[9]

Policies[edit]

Unionism[edit]

The Unionist Party opposes the devolution process, and believes that the new powers granted to the Scottish Parliament on the basis of the Smith Commission go too far.[10] It also opposes any further referendums on Scottish independence, and has called for both the British and Scottish parliaments to work together to pursue closer union. In addition to this, it proposes several pro-UK cultural policies such as flying the Union Flag from council buildings in Scotland, and reversing what it sees as the nationalist re-branding of the Scottish Government by restoring its logo to the Scottish version of the royal coat of arms as used by the Labour–Lib Dem Scottish Executive.[11] The party also calls for the protection of UK institutions in Scotland, and has opposed the absorption of the British Transport Police into Police Scotland, and called for Trident & Faslane Naval Base to be retained at their current location on the Scottish west coast.[12]

Social Democracy[edit]

The Unionist Party has stated its opposition to the extent of cuts to public services under the Conservative government.,[13] and have specifically opposed any further cuts to the NHS, Royal Mail (before it was fully privatised), the Armed Forces and education.[14] It opposed a universal 1p tax rise in Scotland as proposed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, but supported calls for the reintroduction of a 50% rate for earnings in the highest income bracket. It has also called for better care for the elderly, including a rise in Winter Fuel Payment rates and a reduction in TV licence fees for those over 65.[15]

More powers for local government[edit]

The party calls for greater powers for local government, and has criticised the centralising nature of the Scottish Parliament under the Scottish National Party (SNP). Notably, it has called for Police Scotland and Fire & Rescue Scotland to be abolished, and for local police, fire and rescue services to be restored. It has also criticised the tax freeze imposed on local councils by the Scottish government, and stated that local councils should have more control over their own spending.[16]

Civil liberties[edit]

The Unionist Party has been particularly critical of several pieces of SNP legislation which it regards as an infringement on civil liberties. It has criticised the Named Person Scheme as a "totalitarian state invasion into family life", and the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act for "criminalising ordinary football fans". It has called for both pieces of legislation to be scrapped.[17]

Electoral performance[edit]

The party contested the 2016 Scottish parliamentary elections, standing on the regional ballot for Glasgow region. It won 2,453 votes (1.0%), failing to win a seat.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/Registrations/PP2834
  2. ^ http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Registrations/PP2834
  3. ^ https://www.thebusp.org/who-are-we/
  4. ^ "'Better Together' party to contest Holyrood 2016 election". The Scotsman. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Understanding the UK: A Unionist Philosophy". 11 March 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Manifesto". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Better Together Activists Form New Unionist Party To Fight Scottish Election". Buzzfeed. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  8. ^ @daily_politics (8 January 2016). "Steven Gordon talking to @afneil..." (Tweet). Retrieved 28 August 2017 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ https://www.thebusp.org/who-are-we/
  10. ^ "Home Rule by the Back Door? The Dangers of the Smith Proposals". 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  11. ^ "2016 Manifesto Section 1. Real Unionism". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  12. ^ "2016 Manifesto Section 2. Protecting British Institutions in Scotland". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Better Together Activists Form New Unionist Party To Fight Scottish Election". Buzzfeed. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  14. ^ "2016 Manifesto Section 2. Protecting British Institutions in Scotland". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  15. ^ "2016 Manifesto Section 2. Protecting British Institutions in Scotland". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  16. ^ "2016 Manifesto Section 3. Local Power & Civil Liberties". Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  17. ^ "2016 Manifesto Section 3. Local Power & Civil Liberties". Retrieved 28 August 2017.

External links[edit]