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UK’s Supreme Court rejects Scotland’s independence referendum bid

In 2014, Scots rejected ending the more than 300-year-old union with England by 55 percent to 45 percent, but independence campaigners have argued the vote two years later for Britain to leave the European Union, which the majority of Scottish voters opposed, has materially changed the circumstances. Photo: Getty Images
A pro-Scottish independence campaigner poses with a Scottish flag outside the UK Supreme Court. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters
A pro-Scottish independence campaigner poses with a Scottish flag outside the UK Supreme Court. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters
Scottish First Minister Nicola F. Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), said the ruling by the UK court showed that the UK was not a voluntary partnership. Photo: Getty Images
Scottish First Minister Nicola F. Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), said the ruling by the UK court showed that the UK was not a voluntary partnership. Photo: Getty Images
LONDON, United Kingdom- Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland’s government cannot unilaterally hold a second referendum on whether to secede from the United Kingdom, in a blow to independence campaigners that will be welcomed by Westminster’s pro-union establishment.

The court unanimously rejected an attempt by the Scottish National Party (SNP) to force a vote next October, as it did not have the approval of Britain’s parliament.

In 2014, Scots rejected ending the more than 300-year-old union with England by 55 percent to 45 percent, but independence campaigners have argued the vote two years later for Britain to leave the European Union, which the majority of Scottish voters opposed, has materially changed the circumstances.

Scottish First Minister Nicola F. Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), announced earlier this year that she intended to hold an advisory independence vote on October 19, 2023, but that it had to be lawful and internationally recognised.

However, the British government in London has said it would not grant permission for another plebiscite, saying it should be a once-in-a-generation event.

Uk as a voluntary partnership a 'myth'- Sturgeon

Polls suggest voters remain evenly split over whether or not they support independence and a vote would be too close to call.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted that she was "disappointed" by the decision but respected the ruling of the court, and stressed that the judges do not make the law and only interpret it.

She added: "A law that doesn't allow Scotland to choose our own future without Westminster consent exposes as myth any notion of the UK as a voluntary partnership & makes case for Indy".

The first minister is due to speak to the media later on Wednesday, with a series of pro-independence rallies also being held in towns and cities across Scotland.

UK blocking VI’s self-determination?

The UK is also being seen as trying to interfere in the Virgin Islands progress to self-determination, with the threat of suspending the Territory’s 50-year-old constitution and set the country back by decades.

It is currently forcing the VI to speedily implement recommendations coming out of a biased Commission of Inquiry or risk direct rule.

Britain has been criticised for not doing enough to assist the VI to achieve self-determination as stipulated in the UN Charter.

It has also been seen as interfering in the VI’s Constitutional Review Process where the Governor, John J. Rankin, a native of Scotland, has a say on who sits on the Commission and what the Terms of Reference of the Constitutional Review should be.

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