Independence “obsession”… Scotland’s referendum puts Sunak and Strigion face to face
After suffering a “setback” in the battle to “divide” Britain, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on the leader of the Scottish National Party to abandon the “obsession” with independence.
Downing Street said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wanted to avoid a repeat of the referendum “once in a generation”, that it had happened “not long ago” and the result should be “respected”.
After the High Court ruled unanimously that it could not legislate a referendum without the consent of the House of Commons, Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said in a statement that she would not attempt a “wild” vote – recognizing that any path to independence must be “legal”.
But Sturgeon implored Sunak to stop “denying” democracy and “come to an agreement” on holding the ballot, saying that “the SNP is not giving up on the referendum track, but Westminster (parliament) is blocking it.”
Obsession with independence
Sturgeon has pledged that the SNP will contest the next general election – expected in 2024 – on the question of independence.
Earlier in the day, Britain’s High Court ruled that the Scottish government did not have the authority to hold a new referendum on independence without the approval of Parliament in London.
Chief Justice Robert Reid said the justices unanimously concluded that such a vote would have consequences for the unity of the United Kingdom and would therefore require approval from the central authority in London.
And the Scottish leader commented on the decision that she respects the court’s ruling, but “the law that does not allow Scotland to choose our future without the approval of (the UK Parliament) exposes the notion that the United Kingdom represents a voluntary partnership.”
Divided public opinion
According to a report published by the Daily Mail, opinion polls indicate that Scottish public opinion is divided on the issue of independence.
For his part, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “This was a clear and unequivocal ruling by the country’s highest court – and it must be respected by the SNP government and their supporters.”
The former Scottish Conservative leader said the SNP would seek to “take advantage of this ruling to further grievance” against Westminster.
While the leader of the Scottish Labor Party, Anas Sarwar, said: “We must now focus on the problems facing our country, from rising bills to the crisis in our medical staff.”