The UK Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Scotland does not have the power to hold a new referendum on independence without the consent of the British government.
The judgment is a setback for the Scottish government’s campaign to break away from the United Kingdom. The top court ruled that the Scottish Parliament “does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence.” Supreme Court President Robert Reed said the five justices were unanimous in the verdict.
The semi-autonomous Scottish government wants to hold a referendum next October with the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” The Conservative UK government in London refuses to approve a vote, saying the question was settled in a 2014 referendum that saw Scottish voters reject independence by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
The pro-independence government in Edinburgh wants to revisit the decision, though, arguing that Britain’s departure from the European Union — which a majority of Scottish voters opposed — has radically changed the political and economic landscape.— AP