Scotland is set to hold its second independence referendum, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Tuesday, while at the same time proposing a future date of October 19, 2023 for her country to hold a new vote on a potential break from the United Kingdom.
Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party campaigns on a platform for Scotland to declare independence from the UK, and she’s been pushing for another referendum on the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” In 2014, the 32 council areas of Scotland voted “no” – with the “No” side winning at 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for “Yes”.
Sturgeon said this week, “What I am not willing to do, what I will never do, is allow Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any prime minister” – in reference to British constitutional rules that stipulate consent must be gained from the UK prime minister to proceed with the vote. Johnson has been on record as saying he would decline such a request.
She further penned a letter to PM Johnson, saying, “In a voluntary union of nations where the people of one nation have voted in elections to give a mandate for a referendum, it is, in my view, unacceptable democratically that the route to a referendum has to be via the courts rather than by co-operation between the UK and Scottish Governments,” Sturgeon said the letter.
And according to more details via EuroNews:
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Tuesday, Sturgeon said she had written to Boris Johnson indicating she was “ready and willing” to negotiate a so-called Section 30 order with him, which gives the Scottish government temporary powers to hold a referendum. This was how the 2014 independence referendum was held.
Johnson is likely only to continue to stand firm against granting a section 30 order while watching Scottish politics fragment over the “partisan” push for independence.
The main opposition party, the Scottish Conservatives, and its leader Douglass Ross has slammed the “pretend poll” in which his party will refuse to take part. “This is becoming a parliament that doesn’t get anything done on people’s real priorities,” Ross said, who represents a region of the Scottish Highlands.
Scotland’s independence referendum will be held on the 19th of October 2023.
Time to set the date in Ireland too. pic.twitter.com/kf7R6WIesG
— Irish Unity 🇮🇪🇵🇸 (@IrishUnity) June 28, 2022
“A parliament that only exists to further the Scottish National Party’s interests… a do-nothing parliament with a first minister obsessed with another referendum at all costs,” he added.
Thus the political road and fight to a second vote appears set to be a long haul, after the first was defeated by almost half a million votes in a country with only some 5.5 million people.