Observed – so far as we’re aware – by nobody, today’s UK government paper also torpedoes another core argument hitherto beloved of Unionists in the independence debate. That argument runs “Scotland and England would not be entitled to equal successor-state status, because Scottish independence would NOT in fact be a dissolution of the Union, because the current UK was formed not by the 1707 Acts of Union but by the 1800 treaty incorporating Ireland.”
The document, however, expressly blows that contention out of the water:
“36. We note that the incorporation of Wales under laws culminating in the Laws in Wales Act 1536 (England) and of Ireland, previously a colony, under the Union with Ireland Act 1801 (GB) and the Act of Union 1800 (Ireland) did not affect state continuity. Despite its similarity to the union of 1707, Scottish and English writers unite in seeing the incorporation of Ireland not as the creation of a new state but as an accretion without any consequences in international law.“
File this one for future reference, readers.