Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Scottish Parliament cannot hold a second referendum without Westminster’s approval. Where does that leave the independence movement?

It was a gamble with a legal solution to the political deadlock: successive prime ministers refused to allow another referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, despite repeated calls from the SNP. The Supreme Court was therefore asked to rule on whether the referendum could be held without the approval of Westminster.

The decision was unanimous no. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s longest-serving first minister, was disappointed but, she said, undaunted. Instead, she announced that the next general election would become a de facto referendum on the issue. But what does this mean in practice – and how likely is it to lead to the break-up of the UK?

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