Scotland’s Sturgeon: Could test power to call consultative independence vote in court

LONDON (Reuters) – Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday she did not rule out testing the legality of calling a consultative referendum on independence if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government continued to oppose another vote.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacts as she delivers a speech, on Brexit day, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Speaking in Edinburgh on the day Britain leaves the European Union, Sturgeon said the question of whether the Scottish Parliament had the power to agree to hold a non-binding vote on independence had never been tested in court.

“Now, should the UK government continue to deny Scotland’s right to choose, we may reach the point where it is necessary for this issue to be tested,” she said.

“I am not ruling that out.”

Sturgeon wants to hold another Scottish referendum, but she cannot do so without the consent of the British government.

She has asked Johnson to enter negotiations on transferring power to hold a referendum from London to Edinburgh, and said on Friday such a step was the best way to put the legality of a vote beyond doubt.

She has previously signalled that she did not want to hold a Catalonia-style referendum, organised without the consent or recognition of the national government.



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