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Scotland Seeks 'legal Referendum' On Independence, Says Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s constitution secretary, SNP president drafted legislation for ‘independence referendum’ to end its historic England coalition despite UK's objection.


The Scottish National Party announced to hold a referendum on independence if the party wins a majority in May’s elections. Nicola Sturgeon on January 23 said she is going to seek the authority of the Scottish people for a legal referendum. Earlier UK government repeatedly rejected calls for the referendum. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had stressed that the second referendum would "continue the political stagnation Scotland has seen for the past decade” at a presser. Scotland to draf legislation for an ‘independence referendum’ to end its historic England coalition. As per SNP Scottish Government plans, Scotland parliament will adopt the bill as law if the May elections garner a pro-independence majority in the 129-member chamber. 

In an interview with BBC presenter on 3 January, Andrew Marr, Boris Johnson opposed the second referendum for Scotland, saying that it should be “once in a generation”. Johnson had approved Scotland’s 2014 referendum, which was backed by voters with 55-45 per cent. He refused to approve the second referendum saying that the two EU referendums in Britain, in 1975 and the other in 2016, were issued at a major 41-year gap. The second referendum was to be decided in consultation with the Westminster parliament but Scotland asserted that its parliament will pass the bill preparing for an independence voting despite UK’s objection. This could challenge the UK to take legal action against the referendum, as an independence vote without the Westminster parliament’s authorisation would be illegal. 


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Right to choose 'independence'

According to UK press reports, Scotland will convene a virtual SNP National Assembly on Sunday to hold discussions about the “alternative routes” to an independence referendum in the wake of the UK’s reluctance and Johnson’s warnings that such a paper should not be allowed until the 2050s. In a speech to a conference of her Scottish National Party — held virtually—First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland had a right to choose independence, "if a majority of us want it". Speaking at a live-streamed address, Sturgeon stressed, “That inalienable right of self-determination cannot, and will not, be subject to a Westminster veto,” referring to the UK government in London. Meanwhile, Scottish MP Douglas Ross berated the SNP government of hasty actions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, accusing Scotland of ‘wasting resources and energy’. “Either we go forward to rebuild our economy or we go back to more division with the SNP,” he wrote on Twitter. 

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(Image Credit: AP)

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