The UK’s highest court has ruled that the Scottish Parliament cannot legislate for a second independence referendum without the consent of Westminster.
The case was brought to the court after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out plans to hold a second vote on Scottish independence on the 19th of October 2023.
The Supreme Court Judgement read out by Lord Reed said “the Court unanimously concludes that the proposed bill does relate to reserve matters. Accordingly, in the absence of any modification of the definition of reserve matters, by an order in Council under Section 30 of the Scotland Act, or otherwise, the Scottish Parliament, does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence.”
The judgement means that the Scottish Government’s top law officer the Lod Advocate, will not be able to clear the bill on a second referendum, for passage through the Scottish Parliament.
Residents of Highland Perthshire have been reacting to the news saying:
“I think it’s the correct ruling. It’s not the right time to be thinking about a referendum when everything is falling to bits in the country.”
“I’m very pleased about the outcome of the Court.”
“I think it is incredibly unfortunate that Westminster has this kind of sway. I think it should be ignored and we should hold the referendum anyway.”
“I think there’s a big disconnect between Scottish people being supposedly sovereign and Scottish people having to ask Westminster whether they can be sovereign. I don’t think it quite works so either Scottish people are not sovereign or Scottish people can decide and it’s not up to Westminster or somebody else in the UK to tell them if they are or not.”
“Well I am not surprised at the result; I think the result was done many many weeks ago. But I do feel really annoyed that it was the supreme court in England who is dictation to the Scottish people, the sovereign people, we have our Scottish laws here and I just don’t think it’s very democratic to tell you the honest truth.”
You can read the full judgement on the Supreme Court Website: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2022-0098.html