Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set 19 October 2023 as the date for a new independence referendum to be held. If it is up to the prime minister, the population indicates on that date whether Scotland should secede from the United Kingdom or not. This is a non-binding referendum. In a referendum in 2014, the Scots voted to remain with the UK.
According to British media, Sturgeon has written to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to formally request permission for the referendum. Westminster is reluctant. On several occasions, Johnson refused to move along and also recently London said that now is “not the time” for a new referendum. But even if that approval does not come, Sturgeon wants to organize a plebiscite, she said.
However, she said that the voting should take place within the framework of the Constitution. To make this possible, she wants the UK Supreme Court to look at the issue first. That should determine whether Scotland can organise a referendum without London’s permission. Whether the Supreme Court agrees with Sturgeon is far from certain.
In 2014, the Scots were also allowed to speak out on whether they wanted to become independent from the United Kingdom. A majority of 55 percent then indicated they wanted to stay with the UK. After that, Sturgeon’s Party SNP said that a new referendum would not be re-organized “within one generation”. The SNP leader is regularly reminded of that statement, but according to Sturgeon, Brexit has changed the political situation to such an extent that a new referendum is justified.
At the time of the Brexit referendum, 62 per cent of Scots voted to remain in the EU. Throughout the Brexit negotiations, Sturgeon has always insisted that Scotland did not want to leave the EU.
Sturgeon has been struggling since last year. Then, in the regional elections, the nationalist parties won a majority in the Scottish Parliament. Sturgeon’S SNP then captured 64 of the 129 seats. “What I will never allow IS for Scottish democracy to become a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any other prime minister,” she said.