Despite a legal setback on an independence referendum, Scotland does not give up

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Despite a legal setback in an independence referendum, Scotland’s not giving up

A supporter of Scottish independence holds the national flag outside the Supreme Court in London, UK.

After a legal setback in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Scotland's First Minister has warned she will turn Britain's upcoming general election into a “de facto” vote on Scottish independence.

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The UK Supreme Court ruled, unsurprisingly, that Scotland could not hold another independence referendum without London's agreement.

The Court unanimously concluded that the bill [for a referendum] falls within the matters reserved for the central power in London, explained the president of the Supreme Court Robert Reed. Indeed, the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for an independence referendum.

Disappointed Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was quick to react: a law that does not allow Scotland to choose its own future without agreement from Westminster shows that any notion of a voluntary partnership with the UK is a myth.

Faced with this failure in court, Ms Sturgeon repeated at a press conference in Edinburgh that she would make the next general election in the United Kingdom, due to be held by January 2025, a de facto referendum on the question of independence.

“We will find other democratic, legal and constitutional means so that the people of Scotland can express their will. »

— Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon had already unveiled the question that would be put to Scots (Should Scotland be an independent country? ) as well as the date on which it wished to organize the new referendum (October 19, 2023).

55% of Scots in 2014 refused to leave the UK. But in the eyes of the SNP separatists in power in Edinburgh, the Brexit that has since taken place, which 62% of voters in the province have opposed, is a game-changer. They want Scotland to rejoin the European Union as an independent state.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took part in a rally for Scottish independence as UK Supreme Court justices unanimously rejected the Scottish government's argument that it can organize a second referendum on independence.

The central government in London considers that the 2014 vote closed the debate for a generation. Anticipating a legal standoff, Nicola Sturgeon had taken the lead in seizing the Supreme Court.

In Edinburgh, a few Scots gathered to express their anger. I'm a little devastated, but that's just the beginning. […] We will have independence either in my lifetime or in the children's lifetime, Margaret Turner, a 58-year-old store manager, told AFP.

England does not let us have a say. […] I am angry and disappointed, added Gerard Clarke, a 74-year-old retiree.

The Court considered that such a referendum – even consultative – would have direct consequences on the union of the United Kingdom, an area reserved for the central government in London, which must therefore give its agreement before the holding of x27; such a vote.

In front of the deputies in Parliament, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he respected the clear and definitive judgment that was rendered.

“At this time of unprecedented challenges, the benefits of being part of the UK have never been more apparent. »

— Alister Jack, UK Minister for Scotland

He called on Edinburgh to focus […] on the issues that matter most to Scots in the midst of the crisis cost of living.

Britain's Minister for Scotland, Alister Jack, has called on Edinburgh to “focus” on economic issues. a referendum is a massive question of democracy. He castigated the so-called partnership in which a partner does not have the right to choose a different future or even ask the question.

Opposing independence, Scotland's Labor leader Anas Sarwar has called for getting rid of this rotten Tory government. Let's demonstrate that we can make the UK work for all parts of the country, he told the BBC.

During the hearing last month, Scotland's top judge, Dorothy Bain, argued that the right to self-determination was fundamental and inalienable.

But the Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected her arguments, Robert Reed stating that international law on self-determination only applied to former colonies or populations oppressed by military occupation, or when a group does not have access to certain rights.

I would have preferred another decision, but it gives a clear answer and I think it is welcome, indicated to the; AFP at the end of the judgment Philippa Whitford, independentist MP. For her, supporters of the union should still reflect on the democratic right of Scots to choose their own future.

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