The demand for an independence referendum in Scotland before the British courts

The demand for an independence referendum in Scotland before the British courts

Despite the British government’s repeated denial, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in June that she wanted to organize a new referendum on independence in 2023.

The British Supreme Court began to study on Tuesday morning, October 11, the Scottish Government’s request to organize a new independence referendum, without the London agreement, which considers that such a vote can only take place once a generation.

The distribution of powers between the decentralized Parliament of Edinburgh and Westminster, where the United Kingdom is located, is at the center of the hearings before the Court.

‘Important issue for Scottish electoral politics’

Opening the proceedings, Dorothy Bain, Scotland’s foremost jurist and member of the Scottish Government, stressed that the question of Scottish independence was “an important issue for Scottish electoral politics“.”Whether such a vote falls within the jurisdiction of the Scottish Parliament… is a question which I invite this court to settle definitively.“, she said.

Despite the British government’s repeated denial, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who leads the SNP independence party, announced in June that she wanted to organize a new referendum on independence in 2023.

Anticipating a legal showdown with the government in London, he took the lead in going to the High Court to determine whether the Scottish Parliament had the power to legislate on the issue without the agreement of the British government. yes londonhad the slightest respect for Scottish democracy, this appearance in court would not be necessary“, released Nicola Sturgeon on Monday during the congress of his party.

The problem has always been destined to end up in court, sooner or later, and the sooner the better.“, she added, repeating that if the Supreme Court agrees with her, the referendum”advisoryof independence would take place on October 19, 2023.Should Scotland be an independent country?“, you want to ask Scots who, according to polls, are still very divided on the issue. Already consulted on the subject in 2014, 55% had voted to remain within the United Kingdom.

But separatists believe Brexit is a game changer, with 62% of Scots opposed, and want Scotland to join the European Union as an independent state.

“De facto referendum”

On the basis of the first referendum, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out the possibility of a new plebiscite, arguing that such a vote could not happen.”only once per generation“. The new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has been very firm, ensuring that “would not allow“Referendum.

I am very clear that there should not be another referendum before the next generation“, she said. Reacting to that hearing on Tuesday, a government spokesman said the people of Scotland would prefer the UK and Scottish governments to work together on issues that affect them rather than focus on a new referendum.

If the Supreme Court agrees with Nicola Sturgeon and authorizes the local government to organize a new vote, the Scottish leader will have won her bet. And in case of defeat in court, Nicola Sturgeon has already warned that he would take advantage of the next legislative elections, scheduled for 2024, as “actual referendumcampaigning solely on the issue of independence.

“Fundamental and inalienable right”

The SNP won the 2021 local elections promising to hold a new referendum after the pandemic, arguing that “the right to self-determination is a fundamental and inalienable right“Edinburgh wants to be able to free itself from the central government and create its own legislative framework for a referendum, but London opposes it, arguing that Scotland cannot decide unilaterally on an issue such as the United Kingdom-United Kingdom union.

The court is unlikely to rule in favor of the SNP, but those who are in favor (of keeping Scotland in the UK) should not see this as a final victory.“, considers Akash Paun, of the think tank Institute for Government. The Supreme Court justices are expected to issue their decision within six to eight weeks.

However, if it were to take place, such a referendum would onlyadvisoryand London would still have to accept the independence of the Scottish nation.

SEE ALSO – Scottish independence: “It is not done yet”, according to Maurice Gourdault-Montagne

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