British Supreme Court refuses Ecossais right to organize referendum without downstream of London

Even if she expected this decision, the Scottish Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said herself “very disappointed”.

by Cécile Ducourieux (London, correspondent)

Justice has decided, but the battle for the independence of Scotland is far from over. Wednesday, November 23, the five judges of the British Supreme Court, the highest civil body in the United Kingdom, announced that they had decided unanimously that the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood), dominated by the separatist parties (the Scottish National Party, SNP, and the Greens, to a lesser extent), could not legislate on a referendum of independence from Scotland without the downstream of the British Parliament (the palace of Westminster).

Their argument is clear: the Scottish Parliament was established by the 1998 Scotland Act which gives it limited powers, said Lord Reed, the president of the Supreme Court. A referendum bill on the independence of Scotland is union (from the United Kingdom), one of the “reserved” areas of Westminster, it would therefore be illegal without its green light. The Court also rejected an argument of the SNP, which claimed the right of peoples to self -determination. This right can only be invoked if the people in question are oppressed or if it has been colonized, “which is not the case with Scotland,” said the president of the Supreme Court – Scotland joined England in 1707, as part of a voluntary union, when the Scottish Parliament merged with that of Westminster.

The Scottish Referendum on the independence of 2014 was legal since it was authorized by the Conservative government of David Cameron as part of a temporary and limited delegation of the powers of Westminster in Holyrood. At the time, Cameron was confident in the defeat of the yes to independence (the SNP capped at 30 % of the polls at the start of the referendum campaign), and in the fact that a victory of the “no” would close for Several generations the secessionist inclinations.

The no certainly won (at 55.3 %), but the yes has garnered much more support than expected. Above all, the vote in favor of Brexit two years later, to which 62 % of the Scottles opposed, completely changed the political situation in Edinburgh and justified the claim by the SNP of a new referendum. But, so far, the successive conservative governments of Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have opposed it, especially because support for independence now oscillates between 45 % and 50 % of Scottish public opinion.

Legal way in the impasse

Downing Street logically welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court, and Nicola Sturgeon said he was “very disappointed”. The Scottish Prime Minister is immediately ironed with the offensive, ensuring “that a law that does not authorize Scotland to choose its own future without the downstream of Westminster proves how the notion of voluntary union [of nations of the United Kingdom] is myth. This strengthens the arguments for independence “.

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/Media reports cited above.