Independence referendum is not ‘imminent’ says SNP

A second vote on Scottish independence is not “imminent" Scottish Government ministers have said in a court submission.

A repeat of the 2014 referendum is not imminent
A repeat of the 2014 referendum is not imminent

And they say there is no need for the Court of Session in Edinburgh to make a judgement on whether a repeat of the 2014 referendum could be staged by Holyrood without authorisation from Westminster.

Control over constitutional issues is reserved to Westminster, but an independence campaigner, Martin Keatings, has brought a case before Scotland's highest court challenging whether Edinburgh could go it alone on the matter.

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A copy of the joint-submission from the Scotland Government and Lord Advocate has been obtained by the Times newspaper which states that it is inappropriate for Keatings to bring the case because he is not an MSP.

"No member of the Scottish parliament has introduced a bill to legislate for the holding of a referendum on Scottish independence absent such an agreement," the submission states, according to the Times.

"It is not for the pursuer to attempt to stand in the shoes of those parliamentarians."

And it adds: "There is no impending decision for members of the Scottish parliament in relation to which of those parliamentarians require the assistance of the court. No bill has been introduced into the Scottish parliament on a referendum on Scottish independence and no vote is imminent."

Nicola Sturgeon has previously refused to rule out a court challenge to clarify whether Holyrood could stage a referendum without the agreement of London. However, she has made it clear that she believes that Boris Johnson will be forced to shift his refusal to engage on the issue if polls keep showing a majority of Scots want to leave the UK, particularly if a pro-independence majority is returned again at Holyrood emerges after next year's Scottish election.

The Prime Minister has always ruled out a second referendum, insisting the last vote was a "once in a generation" event.

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