UK Court Denies Scotland's Independence Referendum

    Photo: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • On Wednesday, the UK Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Scotland cannot hold a second independence referendum next year, known as Indyref2, without the UK government's consent.

    • The five-justice panel judging the case argued that a re-run of the process used in the 2014 referendum — approved by Westminster — would be necessary, with temporary powers granted under Section 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Although this Supreme Court decision was obvious to anyone who has already read the Scottish Act – or at least Holyrood's website – it could put an end to the Scottish Government's squandering of time and taxpayers' money. After years of discussing flags, it's time to focus on real issues, such as health, education, and the economy.

    Narrative B

    Contrary to the perception that the UK is a voluntary partnership, Scotland is legally prohibited from choosing its own future without Westminster's permission. Scottish nationalists are fighting not only for independence but also for democracy and their right to self-determination.

    Narrative C

    Holyrood should have acted as a real parliament by approving Indyref2 without requesting approval to implement their democratic mandate, especially not from a court in London. After leading the national movement to a dead-end, the Scottish Government must now find another way forward.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the next Scottish independence referendum will be held by October 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our daily newsletter