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The Independent

Scotland can not maintain second independence referendum, Supreme Court docket guidelines



The Scottish parliament can not maintain a second referendum on independence with out consent from Westminster, the Supreme Court has dominated in a recent blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s hopes of holding a vote.

The UK’s highest courtroom dominated that Holyrood can not legislate on a vote, agreeing with the UK authorities that constitutional issues are reserved for the UK parliament.

The case was introduced by SNP chief Ms Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, who had set out plans to carry a second poll – dubbed indyref2 – on 19 October 2023.

However Supreme Court docket president Lord Reed stated on Wednesday that judges unanimously agreed that the independence vote invoice proposed by the SNP “does relate” to reserved issues.

“The Scottish parliament doesn’t have the ability to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence,” he said.

Ms Sturgeon has stated she is “upset” by the ruling of the UK Supreme Court docket – however claimed the choice “makes [the] case” for independence.

“A regulation that doesn’t permit Scotland to decide on our personal future with out Westminster consent exposes as delusion any notion of the UK as a voluntary partnership,” she tweeted.

The SNP chief, set to make a full statment at 11.30am, added: “Scottish democracy won’t be denied. At present’s ruling blocks one path to Scotland’s voice being heard on independence – however in a democracy our voice can not and won’t be silenced.”

Regardless of the blow to her hopes, Ms Sturgeon is ready to make use of the choice to attempt to drum up extra assist for independence, which misplaced narrowly to the “No” marketing campaign in 2014.

The SNP chief beforehand warned that her occasion would run on the only platform of independence on the subsequent normal election if the Supreme Court docket dominated towards it.

Rishi Sunak has stated now just isn’t the time for “an pointless, divisive constitutional referendum” on Scottish independence.

The prime minister known as the thought of holding indyref2 anytime quickly as a “fairly frankly barmy thought” through the Tory occasion’s August management contest.

The decision means the Scottish authorities’s prime regulation officer, the Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain, won’t now be capable to clear a referendum invoice for passage by way of the Scottish parliament.

Throughout a two-day listening to in October, Ms Bain had stated resolving the legality of the proposed referendum invoice was a “critically necessary query” which had been “festering” because the early days of devolution.

The UK authorities’s consultant, Sir James Eadie, had argued the invoice “squarely and instantly” pertains to a matter reserved to Westminster. He additionally argued that the invoice was at too early a stage for the courtroom to even challenge a ruling on.

However Lord Reed stated the Supreme Court docket had determined that “it does have the ability to resolve” now on the query of whether or not a referendum may very well be held with out Westminster consent.

Lord Reed additionally stated the courtroom didn’t settle for SNP arguments based mostly on the “proper to self-determination” in worldwide regulation.

He stated a Canadian case, which involved Quebec, held that the appropriate to self-determination beneath worldwide regulation solely exists in conditions “of former colonies, or the place a folks is oppressed … or the place a definable group is denied significant entry to authorities”.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster chief Liz Saville Roberts MP stated the “exposes the essentially undemocratic nature of Westminster rule”.

Calling for brand spanking new powers, the Welsh nationalist chief added: “It’s time for the UK authorities to ensure the appropriate to self-determination for all of the devolved nations.”

Extra follows…

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