Scotland proposes to hold another independence referendum on October 19, 2023


Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon consults Supreme Court on legality of new consultative vote

The Scottish government has sent a request to the High Court for advice on the legality of the Edinburgh Parliament holding an advisory referendum on independence. Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced her wish to hold the second consultation in ten years on October 19, 2023.

Scotland does not have “the full range of levers” to block conservative anti-union laws or repair the damage caused by Brexit, Sturgeon said. And a changing of the guard in London would not be enough, because Labor are “appeasers” who do not want to return to the European Union and nuclear weapons take precedence over child poverty.

After that strong prologue to her speech to the Scottish Parliament, the Prime Minister was a bit more sneaky. He announced the presentation of a bill to call the referendum. This power is disputed because the Scottish Autonomy Act, passed in 1998, reserves the constitutional powers of the British Union to the Parliament of Westminster.

To prevent the Boris Johnson administration or individual citizens from dragging the bill to court, and successive courts analyzing the case and delaying the trial, Sturgeon is shortening the path. He has asked the Lord Advocate, a quasi-legal figure who is part of the Scottish cabinet, if he would be willing to send a request to the High Court.

The decision of the highest court of England and Wales, with constitutional powers also in Scotland, will concern the legality of a consultative referendum. Sturgeon recalled that the 1997 that created the Scottish Home Rule Institutions, the 2014 about independence won by supporters of the Union, and the 2016 that led to Brexit were also of that nature.

In those cases, after the population had voted, parliaments passed laws to give substance to the wishes of the majority, although they were not constitutionally required. The Most High will have to decide whether the autonomous assemblies have the right to consult their people. The decision to implement the result would not be judicial but political.

Sturgeon warned that if the court denies that right of consultation to Scottish autonomy, it will be the fault of the Westminster parliament, which makes the laws and could change them. The UK can no longer be described as a “voluntary union of nations”, according to the independence leader.

His Scottish National Party (SNP) was set to go to the next general election, scheduled for 2024, with a single item on its agenda, the issue of the 2014 referendum and that is reiterated in the 2022 bill: “Should Scotland be an independent country? The UK election would be turned into a fake referendum.

For his part, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already stated before Sturgeon’s announcement that “now is not the time” for a new consultation. “Our plan for a stronger economy works best when the UK is together,” the conservative leader stressed. Johnson has always refused to temporarily transfer the power to call a referendum, as David Cameron did in 2014.

Source: La Verdad


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