Conservatives call on Welsh Government to spurn Supreme Court ruling on independence referendum
Conservatives have called on the Welsh Government to spurn any Supreme Court judgement that indicates that Wales could call its own independence referendum.
The Supreme Court is set to decide whether the Scottish Government can call its own advisory independence referendum after the matter was referred to them by the Scottish Government.
If the Supreme Court decides that Scotland can hold their own independence referendum, it would open the door to Wales holding one on the same basis.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has already said that such a judgement would mean that Wales “will have a route to go directly to the people of Wales in order to have a mandate for securing our own right to self-determination as a nation”.
But Conservative Senedd Member Janet Finch-Saunders said that if the Supreme Court finds in favour of the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government should make it clear that they reject the possibility of Wales holding its own vote.
“It is for the Scottish and UK Governments to settle the constitutional question between each other,” Janet Finch-Saunders, who is the Senedd Member for Aberconwy, told the Senedd.
“Here in Wales however, it must be emphasised that such a demand for constitutional separation is not on the agenda, nor is there a public appetite for it.
“The Welsh Government must make clear, that regardless of the decision of the Supreme Court, Wales remains committed to the Union and the tasks set out to make it flourish for the future.
“I sincerely hope that the Welsh Government continue to make clear that Wales is invested in improving the lives of all who live here.”
Last month Nicola Sturgeon proposed that a new Scottish independence referendum be held on October 19, 2023.
The First Minister of Scotland said that it will be a consultative referendum but would still have standing, as in the case of other referendums such as Brexit. That meant that it would be lawful and within remit of the Scottish Parliament, she said.
The First Minister said that she was willing to negotiate the terms of the referendum with the Prime Minister but “I will never do is allow Boris Johnson to make a prisoner of Scottish democracy”.
“I want the process set in train today to lead to a lawful, constitutional referendum and for that to take place on 19 October 2023,” she said. “That is what we are preparing for.”
Nicola Sturgeon added that she wanted to emphasise that although she expected opponents of Scottish independence to attempt to claim that this would be a “wildcat referendum,” it would have the same status as 2014.
“Just as in 2014 – and recognised explicitly in the 2013 White Paper – a majority yes vote in this referendum will not in and of itself make Scotland independent.
“For Scotland to become independent following a yes vote, legislation would have to be passed by the UK and Scottish Parliaments.
“There has been much commentary in recent days to the effect that a consultative referendum would not have the same status as the vote in 2014. That is simply wrong, factually and legally.
“The status of the referendum proposed in this Bill is exactly the same as the referendums of 1997, 2014 and 2016.”
She however conceded that “no matter how Scotland votes, regardless of what future we desire for our country, Westminster can block and overrule. Westminster will always have the final say”.
“There would be few stronger or more powerful arguments for independence than that.”
She added: “If it does transpire that there is no lawful way for this parliament to give the people of Scotland the choice of independence in a referendum – and if the UK government continues to deny a section 30 order – my party will fight the UK general election on this single question: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’”
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