What is the reason for the British Supreme Court’s negative vote on the Scottish independence referendum?
Given the UK Supreme Court’s negative vote on the independence referendum, what will be the political future of Scotland?
Can Scotland hold an independence referendum without the approval of the UK government?
What are the demands and goals of the independence supporters of Scotland from holding the independence referendum?
The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland cannot hold a second Scottish independence referendum without the government’s approval.
The Supreme Court’s negative vote on the Scottish independence referendum
The Supreme Court of the UK ruled today that the Scottish government cannot hold a second independence referendum next year without the approval of the UK Parliament. Robert Reid, the head of the British Supreme Court, announced that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to hold a referendum on the independence of this country and that this referendum requires the approval of the UK Parliament.
The fatal blow of the Supreme Court to the independence activists
With this ruling, the Supreme Court dealt a fatal blow to Scottish nationalists who wanted a referendum and independence from the UK. In a series of tweets, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, called Sunak an unelected prime minister for the people of Scotland and called for general elections to be held as soon as possible. It laid the groundwork for Scotland’s independence from the UK.
Scotland’s political future
Sturgeon emphasized that Scotland should become independent from the UK to avoid the damage of the political crisis in London and determine the future task. Earlier, Sturgeon announced in his speech that she intends to hold a Scottish independence referendum regardless of the case’s outcome in the Supreme Court. The First Minister of Scotland recently announced that he will have a referendum on Scottish independence from the UK on 19 October 2023. Still, the British Conservative government in London refuses to do so.
A referendum without the approval of the UK government
Sturgeon said that if the Edinburgh-based government loses the case, she will make the next UK general election a two-way referendum on ending the political union with the UK that has existed since 1707. The Minister did not say how he could do this. A referendum will not be legally binding without the approval of the UK government.
The demand for Scottish independence
Nicola Sturgeon says ‘Scottish democracy will not be denied’ after court blocks route to referendum. Sturgeon and his supporters have been calling for Scotland to separate from the UK for years. However, their desire for independence intensified after UK’s exit from the EU.
Scotland wants to return to the EU
The Scottish government wants to be present in the EU as before. Sturgeon has recently said in the introduction of the referendum plan in the Scottish Parliament that she is not ready and will not allow Scottish democracy to be played by any Prime Minister. In 2014, Scottish voters rejected the region’s independence by 55% to 45% in a referendum. London says that once in 2014, an independence referendum ended with a margin of 10% in favour of its opponents, giving a reason there is no re-holding.
Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold an independence referendum
Nicola Sturgeon has announced that she intends to hold a Scottish independence referendum regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court case. The Sturgeon government argues that UK’s exit from the EU and the Covid-19 pandemic has created new realities in politics and business, so the issue needs to be reviewed. In the Brexit referendum, the Scots, unlike the rest of the UK, clearly favoured remaining in the EU.
The hope of Scottish independence supporters
Supporters of Scottish independence hope that the balance of votes will change if there is a new vote. Sturgeon and his supporters have been calling for Scotland to separate from the UK for years. However, their desire for independence intensified after UK’s exit from the EU. The Scottish government wants to be present in the EU as before. Ms Sturgeon has recently said in the introduction of the referendum plan in the Scottish Parliament that she is not ready and will not allow Scottish democracy to become the toy and prisoner of any prime minister.
The UK government’s opposition to the independence referendum
However, London says that once in 2014, the independence referendum ended with a margin of 10 percent in favour of its opponents, and there is no reason to hold it again. Previously, on 28 March 2017, the Scottish Parliament voted to hold another referendum on the separation of Scotland from the UK. The approval of the UK government is necessary for such a vote. However, Sturgeon wants to legally hold the referendum if necessary, even without this approval.
Brexit and the Scottish independence referendum
Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold a second independence referendum. SNP held an independence referendum in Scotland in 2014. After Brexit, the discussions about this flared up again. The death of Elizabeth II, the Queen of the UK, has also given a new impetus to the independence debate. The pro-independence party (Scottish National Party) lost its majority in the recent parliamentary elections. Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), and their coalition partner, the Scottish Greens, favour a second independence referendum.
Holding an independence referendum in October 2023
On 28 June 2022, Nicola Sturgeon announced legislation that could trigger a new referendum. Sturgeon went to the UK High Court to assess whether it was legal to hold a second Scottish independence referendum without London’s consent. The second referendum is scheduled for 19 October 2023.
Changing conditions after Brexit
Meanwhile, Brexit has changed the situation. The majority of Scots wanted to remain in the EU and voted for it in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Even now, many want to return to the EU. The Scots have not voted Conservative for decades and feel others are running them. The comments of Liz Truss, the resigned Prime Minister of the UK, during her party’s internal election campaign about Nicola Sturgeon recently angered Scotland.
The chance of winning the independence referendum
The Scottish Minister in London thinks that if 60% of Scots favour a second referendum, SNP should maintain a second referendum. But the Scots are far from this 60%. This suggests that this second referendum is very unlikely to happen from London’s perspective. However, the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September gave a renewed impetus to independence efforts in this regard. Many considered the Queen to be the guarantor of the union between England and Scotland. Political commentators do not trust the new king, Charles III, to have such competence.
However, even among supporters of independence, opinions differ as to what form of government Scotland should adopt if independent, remaining part of a monarchy like Canada or Australia, or becoming a republic with a secular head of state. In the May 2021 election, almost 49 percent voted for independence parties, namely the Scottish National Party and the Greens. According to the Scottish government, this is a clear signal of the broad Scottish desire for independence, and therefore banning a second referendum is undemocratic on London’s part. However, a second referendum is only legally possible with London’s approval.