UK: The Supreme Court is examining the validity of a new referendum in Scotland
Couple Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday began a two-day hearing to decide whether Scotland can hold another independence referendum without the support of Britain’s Parliament.
“It will probably be months before we make our decision,” warned Robert Reed, the president of Britain’s highest court, opening what he described as the “tip of the iceberg”.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who heads the Scottish National Party (SNP, Independence), intends to organize this referendum on October 19, 2023 and wants it to be legal and internationally recognised.
Like her predecessor Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister Liz Truss refuses to authorize this consultation, pointing out that Scots voted back in 2014 rejecting independence by 55% of the vote to 45%.
According to Downing Street, such a vote can only happen once in a generation, but the SNP argues that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016, Brexit, which a majority of Scottish voters voted against, changed the situation Has.
The question before the Supreme Court is whether the Scottish Government has the power to pass legislation authorizing a new referendum without the consent of the UK Parliament.
Under the Scotland Act 1998, which created the Scottish Parliament and removed certain prerogatives from Westminster, all matters relating to the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England are the sole responsibility of the British Parliament. Which, according to London, means that only the UK government can authorize a referendum to be held.
The SNP, which has dominated Scottish politics for more than a decade and won an overwhelming majority of seats in Scotland in the 2019 UK general election, argues that Scots’ opinion is simply ignored.
(French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse, edited by Nicolas Delame)
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