Supreme Court to consider if Scottish Parliament can hold second independence referendum | UK News
The question of whether the Scottish Parliament can unilaterally declare a second independence referendum will be up for trial in the UK Supreme Court from today.
The case involves legislation proposed in the Scottish Parliament known as the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill.
Nicola Sturgeon said that an independence vote could be held as early as next October.
Judges were asked to decide whether the Bill involved “reserved matters” – meaning the responsibility of Westminster, not Holyrood.
Ms Sturgeon has asked Lord Advocate, Scotland’s chief law officer, to refer the Bill to the High Court when she unveils the law in June.
This is to confront any legal challenge from her opponents, with the first minister saying she wants an “indisputably legal” referendum to take place.
The UK government, represented in court by the Attorney General, opposes a second referendum.
The defense general argued in written submissions that the referendum clearly involved matters reserved and beyond Holyrood’s legislative authority.
He also asked the court to rule on whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case, saying the Bill has yet to be introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
Over the weekend, the first minister spoke to journalists about the upcoming case while attending the SNP conference in Aberdeen.
Asked if she believes the Supreme Court will give Holyrood the ability to hold a second referendum, Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m very hopeful and optimistic about that.
“But anyone who knows anything about trials will know that there’s no point in trying to guess at a court or speculate on its outcome.”
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