Should Scotland be an independent country? Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, wants to hold a new referendum on independence on October 19, 2023. “I can announce that the Scottish Government is proposing that the independent referendum be held on the 19th of October 2023,” she said.
The question about splitting from the UK would be the same one asked in 2014 when then-PM David Cameron agreed to hand over the power to hold a vote on Scottish independence. The Scots said “no” by rejecting independence by 55% to 45%.
The Scottish parliament does not have the power to call a referendum unilaterally. The UK Government must grant the Scottish Parliament the necessary power to hold a referendum. Nicola Sturgeon has asked the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of holding a new referendum to split from the UK without Westminster’s agreement.
Dorothy Bain QC had written to the Supreme Court in London at Sturgeon’s request, asking it to establish whether the Scottish government had the necessary legal powers to hold a referendum on its own.
“We must establish legal fact. That is why, in my view, we must seek now to accelerate to the point when we have legal clarity, legal fact,” said Sturgeon.
If Sturgeon’s proposal gets blocked in court, the Scottish National Party will fight the next UK general election on this single issue to force the issue. Her political opponents accused her of playing a dangerous game that would divide the country.
“The Nicola Sturgeon wanting to divide our country is back. A referendum that two thirds of Scots don’t want right now,” said Anas Sarwar, member of the Scottish Parliament.
Nicola Sturgeon said it will be a “consultative” referendum.
“This proposal will be consultative, not self executing. For Scotland to become independent following a yes vote, legislation would have to be passed by the UK and Scottish parliaments,” she said.
Boris Johnson is likely to reject Sturgeon’s proposal.
“We think the number one priority for the country is the economic pressures, the spikes in the cost of energy. Our plan for a stronger economy certainly means that we think that we’re stronger working together,” said the UK’s Prime Minister.
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