Boris Johnson 'is prepared to take SNP to the Supreme Court to stop independence referendum'

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  • Scottish Parliament cannot go ahead with a referendum without UK approval
  • Boris Johnson does not want to be 'the Prime Minister who lost Scotland'
  • Nicola Sturgeon made second referendum a key plank of her election manifesto
  • UK Parliament could take SNP to Supreme Court if it tries to hold vote regardless

Boris Johnson could take Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish National Party (SNP) to the Supreme Court to put a stop to a second Scottish independence referendum, sources have revealed.

Legal advice dating back to 2011 suggests the Scottish Parliament cannot go ahead with the referendum without approval from the UK Parliament.

And Mr Johnson is unlikely to offer this much-needed sign-off because he does not want to be 'the Prime Minister who lost Scotland', the Telegraph reports.

Ms Sturgeon has made calling a fresh ballot on separation as early as this year the key plank of her manifesto.

She has insisted a big SNP win provide a mandate for another contest, even though the last vote in 2014 was billed as 'once in a generation'.

The opposition within the UK Parliament is so strong it could take the SNP to the Supreme Court if a 'not now' approach in light of the coronavirus pandemic does not work.

In that case, the SNP could table a referendum bill in Holyrood without the permission of the UK Parliament. Ms Sturgeon could go on to try to hold a vote without permission, which would spark a court case, sources suggest.

A UK government source said: 'If it comes to that, if those are the cards they play, I don’t think the UK Government can sit back and do nothing.'

Ms Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister and SNP leader, is expected to remain in her seat following Thursday's Scottish Parliament elections.

With a majority of seats expected to go to pro-independence parties, the referendum is likely to dominate discussions in national politics for months.

The latest blow in the country's bid for independence comes after a Savanta ComRes poll found 54 per cent would vote No if Ms Sturgeon achieves her ambition of triggering another referendum.

The research for the Scotsman also suggested the SNP is set to lose two seats in crucial elections next week - leaving it four seats short of a majority.

After riding high for months, a slew of recent polls have shown backing for dividing the UK has been slipping, as Ms Sturgeon's civil war with Alex Salmond rages.

Meanwhile, NatWest inflicted another setback on Ms Sturgeon by confirming it will have to move its headquarters to England if Scotland does break away.

And a think-tank has found higher spending north of the border has not succeeded in driving up standards.

The Savanta Comres survey found 42 per cent would back independence, 49 per cent support a No vote. When 'don't knows' were excluded that gave a 54-46 split in favour of the union.

Ahead of the election next Thursday, the SNP was on 45 per cent in the constituency vote - a 22 point lead over the Conservatives and Labour who were both on 23 per cent.

But Ms Sturgeon's party was down two points on the list vote at 36 per cent, with the Conservatives on 22 per cent and Labour on 19 per cent.

The biggest change from last week was for the Scottish Greens, who were up three points in the list at 10 per cent.

Mr Salmond's Alba party was languishing on just two per cent.

According to electionpolling.co.uk's calculator, these results would leave the SNP four seats short of an outright majority at Holyrood.

However, they could be rescued by the pro-independence Greens who could take as many as 11 list seats - five more than in 2016.

The SNP and pro-independence Scots are shit out of luck, here's why.

Can the UKSC overrule the UK Parliament?
No. Unlike some Supreme Courts in other parts of the world, the UK Supreme Court does not have the power to 'strike down' legislation passed by the UK Parliament. It is the Court's role to interpret the law and develop it where necessary, rather than formulate public policy.

Can the UKSC overrule Devolved Parliaments and Assemblies in other parts of the UK?
The UKSC can hear 'devolution issues', which include questions about whether a Bill or Act of Parliament, or any provision of a Bill or Act of Parliament, is within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament...

The legislation:

Scotland Act 1998

Part I - General reservations

The Constitution


The following aspects of the constitution are reserved matters, that is—

(a) the Crown, including succession to the Crown and a regency,
(b) the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England,
(c) the Parliament of the United Kingdom,
(d) the continued existence of the High Court of Justiciary as a criminal court of first instance and of appeal,
(e) the continued existence of the Court of Session as a civil court of first instance and of appeal.
The Scottish settlement
The establishment of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish government is provided for in the Scotland Act 1998 (as amended by the Scotland Act 2012). Schedule 5 to the act sets out those matters which are reserved to the UK Parliament. (Note that schedule 5 has been amended since the Scotland Act gained Royal Assent.)

All other issues are deemed to be devolved.

Reserved matters include:
  • the constitution
  • foreign affairs
  • defence
  • international development
  • the Civil Service
  • financial and economic matters
  • immigration and nationality
  • misuse of drugs
  • trade and industry
  • aspects of energy regulation (eg electricity, coal, oil and gas and nuclear energy)
  • aspects of transport (eg regulation of air services, rail and international shipping)
  • employment
  • social security
  • abortion, genetics, surrogacy, medicines
  • broadcasting
  • equal opportunities
Consequently devolved matters include:
  • health and social work
  • education and training
  • local government and housing
  • justice and policing
  • agriculture, forestry and fisheries
  • the environment
  • tourism, sport and heritage
  • economic development and internal transport
The Scottish Parliament has the power to pass primary legislation, but cannot legislate on reserved matters. Nor by schedule 4 can it amend protected enactments, such as certain articles of the Act of Union. The UK Parliament remains sovereign, but has not knowingly legislated on a devolved matter since devolution without the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.

The Union of Scotland and England is a reserved matter

Holyrood is unable to legislate on ‘reserved matters,’ which are the responsibility of the UK Parliament. Paragraph 1(b) of schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998 states that “the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England” is a reserved matter. This means the Scottish Parliament cannot declare Scotland independent, as it does not have the legislative ability to do so.

It is not clear as a matter of law, however, if the Scottish Parliament can unilaterally hold a referendum on independence. Only if it was judged that such a referendum ‘relates to’ the Union would it likely fall outside competence. Importantly, this debate has not been resolved, rather the Scottish and UK Governments reached an agreement which allowed the 2014 referendum to proceed.
https://commonslibrary.parliament.u...a-second-independence-referendum-in-scotland/

The text from the first independence referendum will be mentioned in the Supreme Court.

557. If Scotland votes No, will there be another referendum on independence at a later date?

The Edinburgh Agreement states that a referendum must be held by the end of 2014. There is no arrangement in place for another referendum on independence.

It is the view of the current Scottish Government that a referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. This means that only a majority vote for Yes in 2014 would give certainty that Scotland will be independent.

 

CarterMcFerrell

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The Scottish Sun Newspaper has dropped their endorsement for the SNP.



and the support for Scottish secession has dropped again



 

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And make them pay for his wallpaper
 

CarterMcFerrell

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Boris Johnson exclusive interview: No new Scottish independence referendum, says PM

Boris Johnson has made clear he would reject calls for a second Scottish independence referendum if Nicola Sturgeon secured an SNP majority at Holyrood.

In an interview with The Telegraph, the Prime Minister said: “I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless.”

The comments set up a political battle over the future of the UK that will loom large for the rest of the year.

Ms Sturgeon, the SNP leader, who is set to be returned as Scottish First Minister in the Holyrood elections, said on Friday that she was prepared to push for a second referendum “when the time is right”.

It followed Labour suffering a historic by-election defeat in Hartlepool, with a Tory MP elected in the town for the first time since 1964.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, admitted his party had “lost the trust of the working people” and said the defeat of a traditionally solid Labour seat was “bitterly disappointing”.

Hartlepool by-election result
Khalid Mahmood quit as Labour’s shadow defence minister, accusing the party of having ceded to a “London-based bourgeoisie” and “brigades of woke social media warriors”.

The political backlash showed little sign of slowing on Friday night, with criticism from both Labour moderates and the Left leading to speculation that a shadow cabinet reshuffle may be imminent.

In a swipe at his successor, Jeremy Corbyn, who remains suspended from the party, accused Sir Keir of “offering nothing” to voters.

The full results from “Super Thursday”, a day of elections for councils, mayors, police commissioners, the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and one MP, are still emerging.

But signs on Friday night suggested a strong showing in England for the Conservatives, with the Tories making a net gain of seven local authorities and 155 council seats, while Labour was down 142 seats with a net loss of four authorities. Results were reported from 64 out of 143 councils.

Results: English Councils
In Hartlepool, Jill Mortimer, the Tory candidate, won the seat by 15,529 votes to Labour’s 8,589, a majority of almost 7,000 votes which eclipsed the expectations of insiders in both parties. The seat had been held by Labour since its creation in February 1974.

Ms Sturgeon was last night heading for a strong performance in the Holyrood election – although doubts remained over whether she would secure a majority – with the Scottish Tories losing two of the seven constituencies they won in the 2016 election. The SNP had won 38 out of 46 constituency seats declared last night.

Scotland Results Table
The First Minister had argued that an SNP majority would give the party a mandate for a second independence referendum. The party won a majority in 2011, leading to the 2014 independence referendum.

However, asked during a visit to Hartlepool on Friday if a Nationalist majority meant there was a mandate for another vote, Mr Johnson told The Telegraph: “I think that count is still taking place and we’ll have to see what happens. I listened to the Scottish election carefully.

“My impression was that they [the SNP] moved away from the idea of a referendum, and I think very wisely.

“Because I don’t think this is anything like the time to have more constitutional wrangling, to be talking about ripping our country apart, when actually people want to heal our economy and bounce forward together. That’s what people want.”

Asked about claims he had privately said he would never agree to a second referendum, Mr Johnson said: “I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless. Let me leave it at that.”

Pushed on what he would do if Ms Sturgeon attempted to hold a referendum unilaterally, without permission from Westminster, Mr Johnson said: “Well, as I say, I think that there’s no case now for such a thing … I don’t think it’s what the times call for at all.”

Ms Sturgeon, who was re-elected as an MSP representing Glasgow, indicated she would pursue a second referendum if she achieved a majority.

Ms Sturgeon said: “If that is indeed the outcome of this election, I pledge today to get back to work immediately to continue to steer the country through the crisis of Covid, to continue to lead this country into recovery from Covid.

“And then, when the time is right, to offer this country the choice of a better future.”

Mr Johnson also argued that the Government’s response to the pandemic showed the strength of the UK remaining unified.

He said: “I think the merits of the Union have been amply demonstrated throughout the pandemic. The work of the armed services in bringing people from remote places in our country – Scottish islands – to get medical help. The furlough scheme deployed through the massive firepower of the UK Treasury. I think there’s been an eloquent testimonial during the pandemic to the power of the Union.”

Covid and Scotland
Two more immediate political challenges face the Prime Minister in the coming months: striking the right balance between safety and economic resurgence as the pandemic eases, and thwarting the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum.

On the first, big unknowns remain. The Prime Minister sidesteps a question about whether people with jabs will be allowed to act under different rules from the non-vaccinated, despite such a system already being up and running in America.

So too a question about whether the furlough scheme should be wound up earlier than the autumn, given its cost to the economy and the low Covid-19 case numbers. Both questions are met with a promise to stick to the “cautious but irreversible” reopening roadmap.

But on the Covid-19 vaccine passports, there is news. For the first time the Prime Minister states that he does not want to force pubs to check people’s Covid-19 status when they enter, an outcome hospitality industry associations have been seeking.

“I think that’s unlikely, to be frank,” Mr Johnson said at first about whether Covid-19 status checks for pubs will be mandated, before adding a categorical “no” when asked if that was his intention.

The challenge of countering the SNP north of the border offers a less straightforward path. Mr Johnson is reluctant at first to discuss the possibility of Indyref2, stressing the results from the Scottish Parliament elections were still emerging.

But pushed, he makes clear his opposition. “I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless,” he said, indicating no approval will be granted any time soon. He also takes a subtle swipe at Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, who played down the chances of immediately seeking a second referendum in the weeks before Thursday’s vote.

“I listened to the Scottish election carefully. My impression was that they [the SNP] moved away from the idea of a referendum and I think very wisely,” he said.

Next step, the UK Supreme Court!

The UK Supreme Court will block the referendum once Nicola Sturgeon tries to pass legislation as it breaches Reserved Matter within the Scotland Act. This will make the Scottish Independence movement more pointless than ever, similar to Quebec and Catalonia.

If the pro-Independence Scots truly realise about the legislation and the role of the Supreme Court, they will find it to be a waste of time and no solution to their problems.
 
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