UK Supreme Court rejects Scottish independence referendum


The High Court says the Scottish government cannot hold a second plebiscite next year without London’s approval.

The UK’s highest court has ruled that the Scottish government cannot hold a second independence referendum next year without the approval of the UK Parliament.

In 2014, Scots rejected ending the more than 300-year-old union with England by 55 per cent to 45 per cent, but independence activists have argued two years later for Britain to leave the European Union, which was opposed by the majority of Scottish voters . circumstances have changed substantially.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), announced earlier this year that she intended to hold a consultative independence vote on 19 October 2023, but that it had to be legal and internationally recognized.

However, the British government in London has said it would not authorize another plebiscite because it should be a one-off event.

Polls show voters remain evenly split on whether or not to support independence and that a vote would be too close.

The Scottish Government’s top legal officer had asked the UK Supreme Court whether the Scottish Government could pass legislation paving the way for a second advisory referendum without the approval of the UK Parliament.

The court ruled on Wednesday that this was not possible.

“The Scottish Parliament has no power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence,” said Robert Reed, the president of Britain’s Supreme Court.

Under the Scotland Act 1998, which established the Scottish Parliament and transferred some powers from Westminster, all matters relating to the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England are reserved to the UK Parliament.

After Wednesday’s ruling, Sturgeon wrote on Twitter that she was disappointed but would respect the court’s decision.

“A law not allowing Scotland to choose our own future without Westminster’s consent exposes any idea of ​​the UK as a voluntary partnership as a myth and advocates for Indy,” she said.

“Scottish democracy will not be denied. Today’s ruling blocks one way for Scotland’s voice to be heard on independence – but in a democracy our voice cannot and will not be silenced.”

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