May 22, 2024

A London court rules to prevent Scotland from voting for independence

A London court rules to prevent Scotland from voting for independence

  • The Scottish Parliament does not have the right to hold a referendum. This was announced by the British highest court in London.
  • The judges followed the arguments of the British government.
  • Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon clings to her independence aspirations.

In October 2023, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants her countrymen to vote on independence from Great Britain. But nothing will come of it.

The High Court in London ruled that UK government consent was required. Chief Justice Robert Reid said: “The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate to hold a referendum on Scottish independence”.

What does this decision mean?

open box
Close the box

He said that “the judges have made it clear that it is not their duty to decide whether Scotland should be allowed independence, only whether the Constitution gives the Scottish government the right to hold such a vote on independence without the consent of the British government”. SRF Correspondent for Great Britain, Patrick Folser. The answer is clear: you can’t.

But according to Volser, it’s not over yet. The referendum will not take place, but Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon will pull her Plan B from the drawer.

“Plan B means there will be no referendum next year, but if the court refuses, the next parliamentary election will be reinterpreted as a referendum. Any vote the SNP gets will be interpreted as a vote for independence.” According to Volser, this would put pressure on the British government again.

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British central government rejects second referendum By decision of the highest court, the referendum planned by the Scottish regional government for October 2023 is impossible.

A matter affecting the whole country

Reid said the decision was made unanimously. To the Court, it is clear that the Independence Referendum Act is a matter affecting the entire country and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Provincial Parliament.


Pro-Scottish independence supporters protest outside the UK Supreme Court in London.

Reuters/Peter Nichols

“A legal referendum would have important political consequences for the Union and the British Parliament,” the judge said. “It would strengthen or weaken the democratic legitimacy of the Union and the sovereignty of the British Parliament over Scotland.”

The proposed bill is therefore more than a loose association with matters reserved for the central government.

Brexit changes the situation

In the first referendum in 2014, the majority of Scots voted to remain in the union with Great Britain. For London, the matter is settled in the long run.

Scottish Prime Minister Sturgeon argues that Brexit, which Scots clearly rejected in 2016, has changed the situation. She wants to lead an independent Scotland back into the European Union. In Parliament in Edinburgh, supporters of independence the majority.

In the afternoon, many people wanted to demonstrate in several Scottish cities for the independence of their part of the country. Smaller protests are also planned in some European cities such as Munich.

Sunak considers discussion closed

Prime Minister Sturgeon has announced that her Scottish National Party (SNP) will make the upcoming UK general election a de facto referendum on independence. She will now discuss the details with her party.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said talks on Scottish independence are over. He stressed that it was time for politicians to work together in the interest of the Scottish people.