UK Supreme Court rejects Scottish independence referendum

UK Supreme Court rejects Scottish independence referendum

Defeat for EU advocates
Court rejects Scottish independence referendum

Eight years earlier, a majority of Scots had voted for union with Great Britain. But because of Brexit, Scotland’s head of government wants to launch a new referendum. However, the UK Supreme Court rejected the plan. The controversy is not over yet.

A new independence referendum is a long way off in Scotland. The British Supreme Court in London ruled that it required the approval of the British government. “The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence,” said Chief Justice Robert Reid. The central government rejected the second referendum.

With the decision of the Supreme Court, the referendum planned by the Scottish regional government for October 2023 is impossible. The decision was unanimous, Reid said. For the court, it is clear that a law on an independence referendum is a matter that affects the whole country and is therefore outside the power of the regional parliament.

“A legally held referendum would have important political consequences for the Union and the UK Parliament,” the judge said. “It would either strengthen or weaken the democratic legitimacy of the union and the sovereignty of the UK Parliament over Scotland.” The proposed Bill is therefore more than just a loose association with matters reserved for the Central Government.

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon was disappointed. Sturgeon tweeted, “A law that does not allow Scotland to choose its future without the consent of Westminster rejects any notion of Britain as a voluntary partnership and strengthens the cause of independence.” She had announced that she would recognize Ek Na from the Supreme Court. But then she wants to turn the next British general election into a quasi-referendum and contest only her Scottish National Party’s (SNP) election campaign with a demand for independence.

In the first referendum in 2014, a majority of Scots voted to remain in the union with Great Britain. For London, the question is thus settled in the long run. Scottish Prime Minister Sturgeon argues that Brexit, which the Scots outright rejected in 2016, has changed the situation. She wants to bring an independent Scotland back into the European Union. In the Parliament in Edinburgh, pro-independence is in the majority.

(This article was first published on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.)

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