Boris ready to take SNP to Supreme Court to stop independence vote

The government is prepared to take the SNP to the Supreme Court to prevent the Scottish government from holding an unauthorised vote on Scottish separatism according to new reports in the Telegraph today, drawing on comments from a number of senior sources about potential strategies to keep the UK together after Holyrood elections this week.

Drawing on legal advice drawn up in 2011 by the Cameron administration, the government would argue before the highest court in the land that the Scotland Act of 1998, which established the devolved parliament in Scotland, reserves constitutional issues for Westminster.

The potential legal case would follow a policy of flat refusal from the government if a pro-separatist majority in Scotland were to demand a fresh vote, having been trounced in 2014’s “once in a lifetime” referendum on Scottish independence.

The Telegraph describes the policy as a “just say no” approach, with the government likely to say that a referendum is inappropriate while the United Kingdom recovers from the coronavirus pandemic – a justification that can be stretched years into the future as Britain continues to nurture an economic recovery and work through an eye-watering series of administrative backlogs.

Anti-UK forces lost in a 55-45 rout in 2014, when the SNP led by Alex Salmond tried to bring about separation for the first time.

But Westminster politicians are braced for a pro-independence majority to be returned by Scottish voters on Thursday, albeit not necessarily a straight SNP majority. An uneasy front of SNP, Green, and Alba politicians could form a majority in Holyrood without Nicola Sturgeon’s own party having control of the parliament.

Opponents of the United Kingdom would use the result to push for a fresh vote, even though Scottish voters have rejected independence in poll after poll over recent weeks.

This site reported last week that remaining in the UK was the preference of a majority of Scottish voters in two stunning new opinion polls, rocking Sturgeon’s case for a fresh vote.

But the trend is even stronger than that, with Scottish voters rejecting the SNP’s flagship policy in all six of the most recent polls on separatism – including surveys by YouGov, Survation, Panelbase, Lord Ashcroft, and ComRes.