OPINION - Talking Point: Should Scotland be allowed a referendum without permission from Westminster?

Nicola Sturgeon said ‘democracy is at stake’ after the Supreme Court ruled against her government’s plans to hold a second independence referendum  (Jane Barlow/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon said ‘democracy is at stake’ after the Supreme Court ruled against her government’s plans to hold a second independence referendum (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she is “disappointed” following a ruling by the Supreme Court that Holyrood must get Westminster’s permission for a second independence referendum.

The judgement means that there will not be an indyref2 on October 19 next year as the first minister intended. The only legal route for a referendum would be for Ms Sturgeon to somehow persuade Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to reverse his opposition to Scottish independence, which is very unlikely.

Ms Sturgeon said that the Supreme Court’s ruling was a “tough pill for any independence supporter to swallow”; however, she intends to use the next UK’s general election as a “de facto referendum”.

She said: “The next national election scheduled for Scotland is, of course, the UK General Election, making that both the first and the most obvious opportunity to seek what I described back in June, as a de facto referendum.

“Now that the Supreme Court’s ruling is known and de facto referendum is no longer hypothetical, it is necessary to agree the precise detail of the proposition we intend to put before the country.”

Speaking in Wednesday’s PMQs, Mr Sunak urged separatist politicians to put an end to attempts to break up the union, and to instead work collaboratively to fix “the major challenges that we collectively face, whether that is the economy, supporting the NHS or indeed supporting Ukraine”.

Do you think Scotland should be allowed a referendum without permission from Westminster? Let us know in the comments for the chance to be featured on the ES website.

On Monday, we asked: What do you think of England’s decision not to wear the OneLove armband?

One reader, Hannah Salvidge, thought that the decision to abandon the OneLove armband was “very cowardly”. She said: “I think the strongest allyship is in actions and there’s no point backing down at the first hurdle if you’re a true ally.”

Similarly, Instagram user @tobydboucher commented: “Those they are supposedly showing support for don’t have the luxury of choosing when to fight for their rights… Their stance makes the whole thing look like no more than a token gesture.”

However, some readers, such as Robert Acors on Facebook, responded that, “Football should not be used as a political post”.

Likewise, Frances Vanner commented: “I think we just enjoy the football for what it is and make these statements at a different time.”