Crucial week for Scotland's intention of holding a second independence referendum, when the UK Supreme Court begins on Tuesday hearing arguments in the dispute with London
Scotland's government argues that the court should allow the referendum, citing a fundamental and inalienable right to self-determination. But lawmakers from Britain-wide parties and some legal commentators say that the matter is reserved for the Westminster parliament in London as per the 1998 Scotland Act.
But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday that she was confident Scotland could hold a referendum on leaving the UK in October 2023.
Sturgeon has anticipated that if the court blocks the referendum, her Scottish National Party, SNP, will run in the next British general election solely on a platform of Scottish independence, turning the election into a de facto plebiscite. The UK's next general election is due to be held in 2024.
We put our case to people in an election or we give up on Scottish democracy, she said.
It should be a last resort, Sturgeon said, referring to her plan to turn Britain's general elections into a de facto Scottish independence referendum. I don't want to be in that position. I want a lawful referendum.
I am confident Scotland is going to become independent, Sturgeon stressed.
Scotland's first independence referendum was held in 2014, when 55% of voters chose to remain within the UK. Sturgeon has argued for a new referendum because of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
British voters narrowly supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum, while in Scotland there was a 62% majority in favor of staying in the EU.
Sturgeon has said that there is an indisputable democratic mandate” for a new vote as her SNP holds government with the support of the Scottish Greens. In the 2021 election, the two parties took the largest majority ever achieved by the pro-independence bloc in the Scottish parliament.