UK top court rules against Scottish independence vote plan


People hold a Scottish flag as they stand outside Britain’s Supreme Court while they wait for the decision by Supreme Court judges to grant or refuse the Scottish Parliament power to hold a referendum on independence, in London, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. PHOTO BY AARON CHOWN/ PA VIA AP© Provided by The Manila Times


The top court ruled that the Scottish Parliament “does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence.”
Supreme Court President Robert Reed said the five justices were unanimous in the verdict.
The semi-autonomous Scottish government wants to hold a referendum next October with the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
The Conservative UK government in London refuses to approve a vote, saying the question was settled in a 2014 referendum that saw Scottish voters reject independence by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.

The pro-independence government in Edinburgh wants to revisit the decision, though, arguing that Britain’s departure from the European Union — which a majority of Scottish voters opposed — has radically changed the political and economic landscape.
irst Minister Nicola Sturgeon argues that she has a democratic mandate from the Scottish people to hold a new secession vote because there is an independence-supporting majority in the Scottish Parliament.
During Supreme Court hearings last month, Dorothy Bain, the Scottish government’s top law officer, said the majority of Scottish lawmakers had been elected on commitments to hold a fresh independence referendum. She also said a referendum would be advisory, rather than legally binding — though a “yes” vote would create strong momentum for Scotland to break away.
UK government lawyer James Eadie argued that power to hold a referendum rests with the UK Parliament in London, because “it’s of critical importance to the United Kingdom as a whole,” not just Scotland.
Polls suggest Scots are about evenly split on independence — and also that a majority of voters do not want a new referendum anytime soon.

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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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