The U.K. Supreme Court informed the Scottish government on Wednesday that it cannot call a new independence referendum without the U.K. government’s permission. According to Supreme Court President Lord Reed, the Scottish Parliament lacks the authority to pass laws about the union and other issues that are the purview of the U.K. Parliament.
In a vote in September 2014, Scotland chose to stay in the United Kingdom by a margin of 55% to 45%. When the pro-independence Scottish National Party obtained a majority in the Scottish Parliament in the 2011 election, it emerged as a significant political force.
Since taking office as Scotland’s first minister in November 2014, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has claimed that her party won on a “clear promise to give the people of Scotland the choice of independence.” Sturgeon expressed her disappointment with the choice in a speech she gave after it was made, but she also said she respected and accepted it.
She clarified that the party would continue to advocate for Scottish independence and explore ways to hold another referendum even though the argument over whether another referendum will be held is far from settled.
Stated Sturgeon: “To achieve independence, we must follow a legal and democratic path. And as it becomes more and more obvious every day, gaining independence is not only desirable but also necessary if Scotland is to avoid the catastrophe of Brexit, the harm caused by policies imposed by governments we don’t vote for, and the economic model of low growth and high inequality that is preventing us from progressing.”
She added, “the Supreme Court does not create the law; instead, it interprets and applies it.
She said the court”t had not “expressed whether a referendum had an “u” deniable” democratic mandate. The government “s “denying] democracy to the peopSNP’s Scotland,” according to Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in t”e House of Commons.
If an election is not held, “the entire premise that the United Kingdom is a co”s” usual union of nations is now dead and buried.” “We respect the clear and definitive judge”ment of the Supreme Court of the Unit”d Kingdom,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reacted.
“The people of Scotland, whether it is the economy, supporting the NHS, or even supporting Ukraine, want us to be working to address the major issues we all confront. Politicians should coop”rate now, which is what this government will do.” He added that the Scottish Parliament possessed significant devolved authority.
The Scottish Parliament permitted Sturgeon to call a second referendum after the details of any Brexit deal were known in 2017. Still, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister at the time, prevented this. The SNP now holds 44 of the 650 seats in the U.K. parliament at Westminster and 64 of the 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, with the remaining seats being shared by the Scottish Conservative & Unionist, Labour, Green, and Liberal Democrat parties.
Since the 2016 Brexit vote, one of its key defences has been that Scotland voted 62% to 38% to stay in the European Union. Although there are still uncertainties on matters like trade, freedom of movement, and whether adopting the euro would be a requirement for membership, Sturgeon has stated that her party would immediately seek to rejoin the bloc with Scotland as an independent entity. The party released an economic prospectus in Scotland claiming that following independence, “Scotland’s economy will be “stronger and fairer.”