June 15, 2024

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Scotland’s leader seeks new independence vote in October 2023

Scotland's leader seeks new independence vote in October 2023
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Scotland’s top politician, Nicola Sturgeon, on Tuesday proposed a new referendum on Scottish independence in October 2023 with a gambit hoping to bypass Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s refusal to allow such a vote.

Sturgeon, leader of the semi-autonomous government of Scotland and the Scottish National Party, argued for the new referendum while speaking in her parliament in Edinburgh. She revealed the question to be asked on the ballot: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The question was met with cheers and applause.

Sturgeon stressed the importance of a “legal” referendum, with an outcome that would be internationally recognized. After nearly eight years Voters refused Same question about independence, she said she would write to johnson Request permission to hold another vote. Assuming he refuses – Johnson has long said a second referendum would not happen on his watch – then Sturgeon said she would lobby by referring the terms of the referendum bill to Britain. Supreme court.

“What I am not willing to do, and what I will never do, is to allow Scottish democracy to be captive to Boris Johnson or any prime minister,” she said.

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There is some debate in legal circles about Scotland’s power to hold its vote, without the permission of the British government. The sturgeon has long indicated that Scotland will not go the path taken by Catalonia in Spain – holding a referendum without the support of the Spanish government.

Sturgeon said Scotland’s chief law officer will ask the High Court on Tuesday whether Scotland has the authority to hold an advisory referendum Without first getting the green light from the British Prime Minister.

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Skeptics believe the court is unlikely to rule in her favour. David Torrance, constitutional specialist at the House of Commons Library, wrote in a Blog post The prevailing legal understanding is that the voting procedure would be outside the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

The role of the UK Supreme Court is much narrower than that of the US Supreme Court. Experts say it will look at the Scotland Act 1988, which created the Scottish Parliament, and subsequent case law, to decide whether referendum legislation is the prerogative of the Scottish Parliament. No Scottish history or political arguments will come into play.

write in viewerAlex Massey, the magazine’s Scotland editor, said Sturgeon’s statement “calmly accepted that the referendum was unlikely to take place on October 19 next year”. Instead, Sturgeon hopes to “use Westminster and judicial stubbornness as leverage to push more for independence”.

For its part, the British government said that “now is not the time” for a new referendum. She says the issue was settled in 2014, when the Scots rejected independence by 55 to 45 per cent.

Sturgeon says a lot has changed in recent years, including Brexit. The majority of Scots voted to remain in the bloc.

It says it has a “clear mandate” for a second referendum because a majority in the Scottish Parliament favors independence. However, her side has no guarantee of winning the vote. Support for Scottish independence and unions remains split down the middle.

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Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, suggested that his party would not take part in a new referendum. “We will not take part in a mock survey when there is real work to be done,” He said.

If the High Court rules against her, Sturgeon has said her party will contest the next British general election on the only independence issue.

Analysts said the question of Scottish independence could be part of the calculation in the upcoming British general election. Elections are scheduled for January 2025 but could be called sooner. Current opinion polls suggest that if elections were held today, no party would win outright – forcing negotiations to form a government. The SNP’s support could hinge on a promise of a second referendum.

Sturgeon said she hoped her plans would allow people in Scotland “the right to decide”. But she noted that if this is not possible, the next general election “will be a de facto referendum.”

“Either way,” she said, “the people of Scotland will have their say.”