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Nicola Sturgeon asks courts to rule on Scottish independence vote in October 2023 – POLITICO

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EDINBURGH — Scots will likely be given one other likelihood to vote for independence on October 19, 2023 — assuming the courts and Boris Johnson fail to block the transfer.

Under plans introduced by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday, the Scottish parliament (Holyrood) will legislate for a nonbinding second referendum on the Scottish referendum to happen subsequent yr.

However, even Sturgeon admitted the trail to that vote happening is unsure, as she revealed her authorities has requested the U.Okay.’s high court docket to rule on whether or not Scotland has the ability to maintain a referendum with out London’s permission.

The first ballot, in 2014, in which the pro-Union aspect triumphed by 55 % to 45 %, adopted then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s resolution to briefly hand Holyrood the ability to maintain a referendum.

After pro-independence events gained a majority of seats in last year’s Holyrood elections, Sturgeon argued her authorities now had a mandate to maintain a recent vote. Johnson and U.Okay. ministers disagreed, pointing to nationalist statements from 2014 that the primary referendum can be a “once in a generation” occasion.

In her speech to Scottish lawmakers, which set out the highway map to that second ballot, Sturgeon mentioned her most well-liked choice remained a repeat of the 2014 switch of powers, often called a Section 30 order.

But this time, no such consent from Westminster will likely be forthcoming. A No. 10 spokesperson mentioned earlier than Sturgeon’s assertion that London’s place is unchanged and that “now is not the time to be talking about another referendum.”

Regardless, Sturgeon mentioned she would write to Johnson to ask for formal consent for the vote to be held. If, as anticipated, Johnson rejects that decision, the Scottish authorities is about to push forward anyway.

“I will never allow Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any other prime minister,” Sturgeon mentioned.

The first minister introduced that the Scottish authorities’s chief authorized officer has written to the U.Okay.’s Supreme Court to request a listening to on whether or not Scotland has the ability to maintain a non-binding referendum, even when Westminster refuses to grant consent. This will depart the push for an additional referendum on the mercy of the U.Okay.’s high judges.

If the judges agree with nationalists and rule that Sturgeon has the ability to maintain a consultative vote, the Scottish authorities will push forward with plans for a vote in October 2023 on the identical query that was used in 2014: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

If judges disagree and rule that the powers to maintain any type of referendum lie solely with Westminster, Sturgeon mentioned her social gathering would as an alternative contest the following U.Okay. common election — anticipated in 2024 — on that very same single query from the 2014 referendum.

“It would not be the end of the matter — far from it,” Sturgeon mentioned of any failed court docket battle. For now, all Scottish eyes flip to London’s Supreme Court.

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