The UK Supreme Court rejects that Scotland has the legal power to call a new referendum

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The UK Supreme Court rejects that Scotland has the legal power to call a new referendum

< p>The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the highest legal instance in the country, has denied that the Scottish Parliament has the legal capacity to authorize by Your account will hold a second independence referendumwithout the consent of the Parliament of Westminster. The five judges of the Court, presided over by Justice Robert Redd, unanimously adopted the verdict in a record time of six weeks, in response to the question raised by the Court. Chief Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon. The decision was as expected and means that the meeting will not be held. the new independence referendum on 19 October 2023, as the Edinburgh Government planned. The debate now returns to the realm of politics.

“It's not the result I wanted, but it gives us clarity,” declared Mr. Sturgeon at a news conference following the ruling, which he called He expressed “a bitter pill to swallow” and said he shared the frustration of the independentistas. However, he insisted, “the referendum must be legal and democratic “. The SNP leader is still trying to find a way for consultation, announcing a special party conference to be held at the beginning of the year to decide how the results can become The proposal, which Sturgeon had previously evoked, could be a show of force. strong>, but has no legal validity. Spokesmen for the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, were quick to reject that possibility. The Supreme Court is “a clear and definitive verdict,” declared the Supreme Court. Sunak in the House of Commons.

Political Consequences

“The Scottish Parliament has no power to legislate a referendum on Scottish independence”, he pointed out. Judge Reed reading the sentence. The magistrate remembered That was argued by the lawyers of the Scottish Government. The purpose of the law that the Parliament of Edinburgh intended to approve did not refer, as they alleged, to matters reserved to the London Executive because the result of the referendum, of an advisory nature, “did not it would mean automatically or directly the end of the Union”. Redd, “the effects of the legislation for the purpose of deciding whether it deals with reserved subject matter are not limited to its legal effects, but also include its practical effects”. ;tactic“. In this sense, he stressed, “a referendum carried out legally would have important political consequencesrelated to the Union and the UK Parliament.” “The result would have the authority of democratic expressionfrom the point of view of the Scottish electorate, in a constitution and political culture founded on democracy. It could either strengthen or weaken the legitimacy of the Union and the UK Parliament's sovereignty over Scotland depending on which view prevailed (in the referendum). It could either support or undermine the democratic credentials of the independence movement,” he added.

The Supreme Court had the option of inhibiting over the Lawyers on behalf of the British Government had argued, during the two-day hearing last October, that the Court should not rule on something that was a question. “abstract” legal term, because the law had not yet been approved. The Supreme Court has ruled, however, that it had the power to decide on the case and it was not a premature decision, given “the public interest” of the issue. n and the need to obtain “an authoritative judicial decision on the legislative powers of the Scottish Parliament before the introduction of the law”, as demanded by the lawyers of Scotland.

London Refusal

In 2014, the British government, then headed by the Conservative David Cameron , authorized the government to do so. He told the Scottish Parliament to hold the referendum, acknowledging that there was a majority in the House in favor of independence. The result was a 'no' from the Scots to break with the rest of the UK. Two years later they said 'no' again, it's okay. time to Brexit. The permanence in the European Union, continuing to enjoy its advantages, had been an essential argument in the campaign of those who opposed independence. The exit from the EU posed a new scenario and very different circumstances, which according to Sturgeon justifies a second referendum. The independentistas (SNP and Greens) now have a majority again in the autonomous Parliament of Edinburgh, but this time the last British prime ministers, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and now Rishi Sunak, have denied the request.

Scotland polls show a very even result (49% in favor of independence to 51 % against). Even among supporters of independence there is a feeling that other issues, such as the cost of living and the crisis in the economy caused by the Ukrainian war, they are more urgent and they would prefer to delay holding a second referendum.

The SNP continues to fight, although the path to the referendum has been blocked by the Supreme Court. For the moment, it has called for today demonstrations outside the Parliament in Edinburgh and in other towns in Scotland, in order to put pressure in favor of independence, a claim ;n that is not going to disappear from British politics.