Scotland's first minister has proposed 19 October 2023 as the date for another referendum on independence. Nicola Sturgeon said the question would be the same as in the last referendum in 2014: Should Scotland be an independent country?.
Ms Sturgeon has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask for formal consent for the vote to be held. She said she would press on with her plan if this was not granted by the UK government.
But she stressed that any referendum would need to be indisputably lawful and constitutional - with the Supreme Court being asked to rule on whether the Scottish government has the power to hold a vote without UK government approval.
The UK government said it would examine the first minister's proposals, but stressed that its position that now is not the time for another referendum had not changed. It has also said that it is clear that the constitution is reserved to Westminster.
Mr Johnson said: We'll study it very carefully and respond properly. I think the focus of the country should be building a stronger economy. That's what we're doing. I certainly think that we'll have a stronger economy and a stronger country together.
Ms Sturgeon said Scotland's top law officer, the Lord Advocate, had referred the case to the UK's highest court, with court papers being served on UK government law officers on Tuesday afternoon.
Next, the president of the Supreme Court will decide if there are preliminary matters to be addressed and when the case will be heard.
The first minister said she hoped the court would be able to deliver clarity and legal certainty in a timely manner instead of MSPs passing the bill only for it to subsequently face a legal challenge from opponents.
If the court rules that Holyrood does not have the power to hold a referendum, she said the next general election would become a de facto referendum with the SNP standing on a single issue of independence.
The first independence referendum took place on 18 September 204, with 55% voting No and 44%, Yes, with a record turnout of 85%. (BBC).-