Edinburgh (United Kingdom) 27 Jun. Scotland’s chief minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on Tuesday announced before the Edinburgh Parliament steps to hold a new referendum by 2023 on the region’s independence, even “if necessary” – according to policy – without the consent of London.
The Scottish Autonomous Government relaunched in the middle of this month the cause of territorial independence under the argument of “the unquestioned democratic mandate”, according to the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).
“The arguments for the referendum are democratic and pro-independence,” Sturgeon told the media today, after its formation won the most votes in regional parliamentary elections held in May 2021.
Scotland was consulted in 2014 about its future and voted to remain in Great Britain – 55% opposed the split compared to 45% who accepted it – but the reason now given by nationalist forces to consult again with voters is that Scotland voted in 2016 – in the European Union (EU) referendum – to remain in the European bloc.
Europeans from Scotland could change the sign of the vote in a possible referendum on the split, according to some analysts.
The Scottish government is evaluating the conduct of the consultation even without the permission of the UK, in its legality, as has been proposed by the chief minister.
However, Scotland’s Foreign Minister, Alister Jack, reminded the BBC this weekend that “everything to do with constitutional (things) is reserved for the British Parliament”, and ruled out a different path.
The path to self-determination is “a matter of political pressure,” Aileen McHarg, an analyst at Durham University (UK), told Efe.
Relations between England and Scotland are regulated in the Scotland Act (1998) and govern the powers of regional Chambers, excluding “the future of the Union”, the academic explained.
“What is definitively prohibited is dissolving the Union” because “independence is through the British Parliament,” McHarg added, regarding the need for an autonomous government to seek the necessary authorizations to hold consultations.
The legality of a referendum without the UK Parliament’s authorization will depend on “what the legislation itself says” the regional executive can present before the Edinburgh Parliament, said McHarg, an expert on constitutional issues. EFE
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