Scotland’s government on Tuesday drew the battle lines for a legal and political tussle with London as it announced plans to hold a second independence referendum on October 19, 2023.
Addressing the Edinburgh Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon conceded that her devolved administration may lack the power to call the vote without London’s approval. To ensure legal clarity, it will seek an opinion from the U.K. Supreme Court before it asks voters: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Ms. Sturgeon said her government would press the case anew with “commitment, confidence and passion”.
Six years ago, Scotland voted to stay in the U.K., and current polls suggest Scots remain evenly divided on the question of independence.
U.K. government says the 2014 plebiscite settled the matter for a generation.
Mr. Johnson vowed to study Ms. Sturgeon’s plan “very carefully, and we will respond properly”. But he stressed that “I certainly think that we’ll be able to have a stronger economy, and a stronger country, together”.
Ms. Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) says the U.K.’s exit from the EU has transformed the debate.
Most Scottish voters were opposed to Brexit, and the SNP-led government said that with a majority of MPs in the Edinburgh Parliament now in favour of independence, Scots should be consulted again.