Supreme Court Scottish independence judgement: Ruth Davidson says SNP will leverage ruling to 'seek grievance' with Westminster

Former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has warned the SNP will use the Supreme Court’s decision on Scottish independence as “leverage” to seek to “further grievance” against Westminster.

The UK Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for another referendum on independence. UK Supreme Court president Lord Reed announced the unanimous judgment after Scotland’s top law officer referred a prospective Bill to the court.

Reacting to the decision, Ms Davidson – now a Baroness in the House of Lords – tweeted: “While this ruling isn’t surprising, its unanimity and clarity is welcome.

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“No doubt the SNP will try to leverage this ruling for further grievance. If only the huge effort, capacity & resource spent bidding to rerun the original vote had been put into health, education & the economy.”

Former Scottish Tories leader Ruth Davidson has responded to the UK Supreme Court decision. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the Supreme Court had delivered a “clear and unequivocal verdict”, and suggested the SNP Government must respect it.

“The Scottish people have made it clear in poll after poll that they don’t want another referendum next year,” he said.

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“The country faces enormous challenges right now. Our economy and our NHS are in crisis. We have a wave of public-sector strikes, including the first teachers’ strike in almost four decades. These key issues must be everyone’s top priority.

“Holding another divisive referendum next year is the wrong priority at the worst possible time for Scotland.”

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Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said UK ministers “note and respect the unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court today”.

The Conservative MP said: “People in Scotland want both their governments to be concentrating all attention and resources on the issues that matter most to them. That’s why we are focused on issues like restoring economic stability, getting people the help they need with their energy bills and supporting our NHS.

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“Today alone, 11.6 million UK pensioners – around one million in Scotland – are starting to receive up to £600 to help with their energy bills this winter. As the Prime Minister has made clear, we will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government in tackling all the challenges we share and face.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the Supreme Court had given a clear answer on the legal question and “we must now focus on the problems facing our country, from rising bills to the crisis in our NHS”.

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He said: “There is not a majority in Scotland for a referendum or independence, neither is there a majority for the status quo. One thing is clear, there is a majority in Scotland and across the UK for change."

That change could be delivered by a Labour government, Mr Sarwar claimed.

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