UK Government submits written case to Supreme Court over Scotland's independence referendum bid

Oral arguments are due to be heard in the case in October

Published

The UK Government has submitted its argument in a case that could allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate for another independence referendum.

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC referred a prospective referendum Bill to the Supreme Court last month to ascertain if it was within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Oral arguments are due to be heard in the case in October, but the Advocate General for Scotland Lord Stewart QC submitted the case against the Bill being within the legislative competence of Holyrood on Tuesday.

It is understood the UK Government has asked for the Court’s permission to publish the submission.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon
Ms Sturgeon is pushing for a second independence referendum vote
Ms Sturgeon is pushing for a second independence referendum vote

A spokeswoman for the UK Government said: “People across Scotland want both their governments to be working together on the issues that matter to them and their families, not talking about another independence referendum.

“We have today submitted our written case to the Supreme Court, in accordance with its timetable.

“On the question of legislative competence, the UK Government’s clear view remains that a Bill legislating for a referendum on independence would be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.”

In its submission to the court, submitted last month, the Scottish Government leaned heavily on any future referendum not being “self-executing”, meaning it would be purely advisory and only meant as a way to ascertain the views of the Scottish people.

The SNP have also made an attempt to intervene in the case, arguing that – as a public body – it would be “fair, just and reasonable” for the party to make arguments to the Court.