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UK rejects Scottish independence referendum

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Polls show Scots are almost evenly split for and against separation

Stuart GRAHAM / AFPTV / AFP

Scotland wants independence from the UK

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O UK will not accept the new referendum on the independence of Scotland, decided a British court this Wednesday, 23, complicating the plans of nationalist Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who, however, refuses to give up. The authorization of such a consultation is “reserved” to the Parliament of the United Kingdom and, therefore, “the Scottish Parliament does not have the capacity to legislate” in this regard, said the president of the Supreme Court, Robert Reed, when reading a decision taken unanimously in just six weeks. The head of government, Rishi Sunak, said that this is a clear and definitive sentence and called for the Executives to work together in a “constructive and collaborative” way in a context of serious economic crisis in the United Kingdom. The Scottish Prime Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, declared herself “disappointed” with a decision that, in her opinion, “does not make the law, it only interprets it”. “We must and will find another democratic, legal and constitutional means by which the Scottish people can express their will,” she said. “In my opinion, it can only be an election,” she added, announcing that she would look for a way to turn the upcoming British parliamentary election, scheduled for January 2025 at the latest, into a “de facto referendum”. Polls show that Scots are almost evenly divided for and against secession from the UK.

The Scottish National Party (SNP), led by Sturgeon, who governs this British nation of 5.5 million people in the north of the United Kingdom, wants to organize a consultative vote on the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”. He has already set the date: October 19, 2023. But he says he wants “a legal referendum”, to avoid a conflict like the one experienced in Spain in 2017 due to the consultation held in Catalonia despite the ban by the Spanish Justice. The Central Executive in London categorically refuses, arguing that Scotland already organized a self-determination referendum in 2014 – 55% of Scots voted to remain in the UK, relying on the idea that they would stay in European Union, something that did not happen since the British left the bloc. British government lawyers argued in October that Scotland cannot act unilaterally on a matter that concerns the unity of the whole country. And the Supreme Court judges agreed with them. Saying he “respects” the decision, the British Minister for Scotland, Alister Jack, urged the Scottish Executive to turn the page and focus “on the matters that matter most”.

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*With information from AFP

Source: Jovempan

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