The Supreme Court ruling proves the UK is not a voluntary partnership of equals

The Supreme Court ruling further makes the case for why Scottish independence is necessary

Bad news for democracy. The UK Supreme Court has delivered its ruling denying the Scottish Parliament’s right to call for a referendum on Scottish independence. The outcome is a blow for the democratic right to self-determination, but it is also revealing of the nature of the British state.

In its judgment of 23 November 2022, the Supreme Court found that the competence of calling for a referendum relates to a matter that has been reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom under the Scotland Act. Specifically, it relates directly to the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England. Thus, unless the reserved matters are redefined, the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence. A referendum can only happen if the British government agrees – something which none of the chaotic succession of recent British Prime Ministers has been willing to concede, in a clear denial of democratic principles.

Responding to the ruling, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged that the Supreme Court does not make the law, only interprets it. However, she pointed out that this proves that the law does not allow Scotland to choose its own future without consent from the British government, and therefore that the UK is not a voluntary partnership. Inadvertently, the Supreme Court ruling further makes the case for why Scottish independence is necessary.

Speaking for the European Free Alliance, President Lorena Lopez de Lacalle said: “The court claims the right to self-determination in Article 1.2 Charter of the United Nations refers only to situations of colonialism or oppression. That would be disputed by many across Europe. Other texts, such as the 1975 Helsinki Accords – to which the UK is a signatory – make clear that all peoples, always, have the right to determine their future without external interference. Providing a clear democratic route to make that decision is an essential task for any democracy”.

The Scottish path to self-determination

The Scottish National Party will hold a special party conference in the new year to determine how to move forward by turning the next UK election into a “de-facto referendum”. The party will also launch a major campaign in defence of Scottish democracy.

EFA calls on democrats all over Europe to speak up for Scotland’s right to decide its own future, and ultimately to take its place alongside the other nations of Europe in a true union of equals – the European Union.