December 3, 2022

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The Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland cannot hold a referendum on independence without the Treaty of London

According to the judges, such a referendum would have consequences for the union of the United Kingdom and would require an agreement from central authority. Scotland’s first-minister has reiterated that the next election will be a ‘real’ referendum.

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, November 23, that Scotland cannot hold a new independence referendum without the London Agreement, dashing the hopes of the Scottish government, which had wanted to hold such a consultation next year.

The court unanimously decided that the bill (referendum, editor’s note) falls within reserved questionsFor the central authority in London, Chief Justice Robert Reid said. true,”The Scottish Parliament has no independence referendum legislative powers“.

The Scottish people must express their will

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said to herself.disappointment“by order of the Court, in consideration thereof”The law, which does not allow Scotland to choose its own future without Westminster’s consent, shows that any notion of a voluntary partnership with England is a myth.“. “We need to find other democratic, legal and constitutional ways for the people of Scotland to express their will. In my view it can only be an election“, he said at a press conference in Edinburgh.

Already in 2014 55% of Scots refused to leave Britain. But in the eyes of the SNP separatists in power in Edinburgh, Brexit, opposed by 62% of voters in the province, could be a game-changer. They want Scotland to rejoin the EU as an independent country. But the central government in London is fiercely opposed to further independence referendums and sees the 2014 referendum as closing the debate for a generation.

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Anticipating a legal clash with the government in London, Nicola Sturgeon is the frontrunner in polls to take over the Supreme Court to position herself on the question of separating Scots.

The Court considered that such a referendum – even a consultation – would have direct effects on a part of the United Kingdom.”BalanceThe central government in London must give its approval before such a referendum can be held.

Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling, Nicola Sturgeon had warned that Britain’s next general election would be held by January 2025 if she lost the case.

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During the 2021 local elections, he had promised to organize a legally valid poll once the Covid-19 pandemic turned around. She had already expressed the question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?“, and dated, October 19, 2023, intended to organize this new consultation.

At a hearing last month in the Supreme Court, lawyers representing the London government argued that the Scottish government could not decide on its own whether to hold a referendum: Edinburgh had to get permission because it was a matter reserved for central government.

“Fundamental and inalienable right”

Opposite, Scotland’s most senior magistrate, Dorothy Payne, said, “The right to self-determination is a fundamental and inalienable rightThe Liberal Party relied on the Quebec or Kosovo cases. But the Supreme Court rejected such arguments on Wednesday, with Robert Reed saying that the international law on self-determination only applies to former colonies or people oppressed by military occupation, or a group that lacks access to certain rights. “I would prefer a different ending but it gives a clear answer and I think that is welcome“, SNP MP Philippa Whitford told AFP at the conclusion of the ruling.

While many supporters of the union will be delighted, I think they must also realize that it raises questions about the character of the United Kingdom. We continue to say that this is a voluntary union and therefore they should think about the democratic right of Scots to choose their future.“.


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