Jeremy Corbyn mocked for saying 'problematic' for Scotland to have own legal system - even though it does already

Posted On: 
28th August 2017

The SNP has mocked Jeremy Corbyn after he suggested it was “very problematic” to have different legal systems operating in the UK – despite that being the existing arrangement. 

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a Fabian Society event
PA Images

Speaking on his tour in Scotland, the Labour leader said he wanted “genuine devolution” of powers from Westminster.

But he added that separating economic and legal structures would be “difficult”.

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Scotland’s distinct legal system was enshrined in the 1707 Act of the Union, while Northern Ireland also has its own processes.

In a question and answer session in Edinburgh, Mr Corbyn had been asked whether Labour’s commitment to federalism could allow Scotland to reflect its strong Remain vote in the EU referendum.

He replied: “We are thinking very hard about what forms devolution would take in the future. Devolution in Scotland has gone a long way.

“We are looking at the way we bring about genuine devolution and particularly economic devolution. Could you have a separate economic and legal system in different parts of the UK?

“I think that becomes difficult and very problematic. I want a Labour government that is going to legislate better working conditions for everybody across the UK.” 

Joanna Cherry, the SNP’s justice spokeswoman and a QC, said the comments were “embarrassing and worrying”.

She added:



Other politicians also weighed in on Twitter:







Mr Corbyn also said it would be “very, very difficult if not impossible” to secure different Brexit deals for different parts of the UK – one of the Scottish Government’s key demands.