Westminster must not hide from democracy

The UK Government must not ignore Scotland’s democratic right to hold a legally binding vote on independence now that the most senior law chiefs have placed the decision firmly in the political arena, the Scottish Greens have said.

It follows the Supreme Court ruling against the Scottish Government being able to hold its own consultative independence referendum. The issue now requires the UK Government to agree to what is called a Section 30 order. 

Scottish Greens Co-leader, Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“We respect the decision of the Court. But it does nothing to alter the principle that Scotland’s future must be determined by the people of Scotland. 

“There is a clear and democratic mandate for a second referendum that grows every day as the devastation of a Brexit that was overwhelmingly rejected by Scotland escalates. The UK Government must not be allowed to hide from democracy.

“In 2014 we were promised that a No vote was the only way to ensure a powerful Scottish Parliament that could lead the UK. We were told that it was the way to secure our economic stability and our membership of the European Union.

“All of these claims have fallen apart. They have proven to be utterly untrue. With record inflation, soaring prices, skyrocketing bills and a reckless Brexit that Scotland opposed, it is clear that Westminster is not working for Scotland or our economy. 

“Only 18 months ago Scotland voted for the biggest ever pro-independence majority in the history of our Parliament.

Co-leader Lorna Slater MSP said:

“Last year’s Scottish Green and SNP manifestos were very clear. We pledged to give Scotland a choice over our future through a fair and democratic referendum. A record number of people gave the Scottish Greens their vote on this basis. 

“We are grateful to the Supreme Court for their consideration. This judgement underlines the huge limitations and shortcomings of the devolution settlement and places the question firmly in the political arena.

“The Union is meant to be a voluntary partnership; the responsibility is now with the UK Government to explain how Scotland can exercise its democratic right to determine its own future. Otherwise, the Union is being imposed on the people of Scotland without democratic consent. 

“We cannot accept that this UK Government will just continue to ignore our mandate for a referendum. It must now come to the table to explain how it will respect Scotland’s right and ensure that we can have the referendum that we clearly voted for last year.

“We will continue to make the case for our positive and progressive vision of a fair, green and independent Scotland, that works for people and for planet.”