Nicola Sturgeon reveals the date for a new Scottish independence referendum in 2023
Nicola Sturgeon has proposed that a new Scottish independence referendum be held on October 19, 2023.
The First Minister of Scotland has 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”.
Nicola Sturgeon added that she had asked the Lord Advocate to refer to the Supreme Court whether the referendum bill she’s proposing was a reserved matter.
“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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