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Scottish independence referendum vote blocked by UK’s Supreme Court docket


Britain’s Supreme Court docket has dominated that Scotland’s authorities can not unilaterally maintain a second referendum on whether or not to secede from the UK, in a blow to independence campaigners that will likely be welcomed by Westminster’s pro-union institution.

The court docket unanimously rejected an try by the Scottish Nationwide Social gathering (SNP) to pressure a vote subsequent October, because it didn’t have the approval of Britain’s parliament.

However the determination is unlikely to stem the heated debate over independence that has loomed over British politics for a decade.

Scotland final held a vote on the difficulty, with Westminster’s approval, in 2014, when voters rejected the prospect of independence by 55% to 45%.

The professional-independence SNP has nonetheless dominated politics north of the border within the intervening years, on the expense of the normal, pro-union teams. Successive SNP leaders have pledged to present Scottish voters one other likelihood to vote, notably for the reason that UK voted to depart the European Union in 2016.

The newest push by SNP chief Nicola Sturgeon concerned holding an advisory referendum late subsequent yr, just like the 2016 ballot that resulted in Brexit. However the nation’s prime court docket agreed that even a non-legally binding vote would require oversight from Westminster, given its sensible implications.

“A lawfully held referendum would have necessary political penalties relation to the Union and the UK Parliament,” Lord Reed mentioned as he learn the court docket’s judgment.

“It could both strengthen or weaken the democratic legitimacy of the Union and of the UK Parliament’s sovereignty over Scotland, relying on which view prevailed, and would both help or undermine the democratic credentials of the independence motion,” he mentioned.

Sturgeon mentioned she accepted the ruling on Wednesday, however tried to border the choice as one other pillar within the argument for secession. “A legislation that doesn’t permit Scotland to decide on our personal future with out Westminster consent exposes as fantasy any notion of the UK as a voluntary partnership & makes (a) case” for independence,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Scottish democracy won’t be denied,” she mentioned. “Right now’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.”

England and Scotland have been joined in a political union since 1707, however many Scots have lengthy bristled at what they contemplate a one-sided relationship dominated by England. Scottish voters have traditionally rejected the ruling Conservative Social gathering on the poll field and voted closely – however in useless – towards Brexit, intensifying arguments over the difficulty up to now decade.

Since 1999, Scotland has had a devolved authorities, which means many, however not all, selections are made on the SNP-led Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.

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