People of Dumfries react to Supreme Court's ruling on referendum

  • People in Dumfries share their views on the Supreme Court's ruling on the prospects of a future Scottish Independence Referendum

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Scottish Parliament cannot hold a second independence referendum without consent from Westminster.

Nicola Sturgeon urged supporters of independence to take a "lawful and democratic route" following the Supreme Court's ruling on Wednesday 23 November.

A panel of five justices delivered the decision after the Supreme Court heard the case during a two-day session in October.

Some people on the streets on Dumfries expressed their opinions on the decision.

One said: "I wasn’t surprised but I’m quite disappointed that Scotland aren’t allowed to hold another referendum.

"In light of what’s going on at the moment in the UK and the world, it would be quite nice to have another referendum and let the people of Scotland speak.”

Another has made u-turn on his thoughts about independence: "I did vote to break away but, since it’s come back round I think we should stay now. I think Nicola’s got her own agenda. The independence thing, we haven’t got enough money to sustain ourselves, I don’t think.”

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has stated that she will treat the next UK general election as a "de-facto referendum".

A referendum is "the most obvious choice for a lawful vote on independence," she said, adding that the Scottish government will find a new way to hold a vote on the issue.

The next UK general election is likely to be held in 2024.

Speaking in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon reacted to the Supreme Court ruling, saying: "While I am obviously very disappointed by it, I do accept and respect the judgement of the court.

"The route we take must be lawful and democratic for independence to be achieved."

Nicola Sturgeon described Holyrood legislating to hold a second referendum as "just one possible route" to Scottish independence.

She said: "I stand ready at any time to reach agreement with the Prime Minister. 

"What I will not do however is go cap-in-hand. My expectation in the short term at least is that the UK Government will maintain its position of outright democracy denial. 

"That position is in my view not just unsustainable, it is also utterly self-defeating.

"The more contempt the Westminster Establishment shows for Scottish democracy, the more certain it is that Scotland will vote Yes when the choice does come to be made.

"As for that choice, and for the avoidance of any doubt, I believe today that a referendum is the best way to determine the issue of independence. The fact is the SNP is not abandoning the referendum route, Westminster is blocking it." 

Scottish Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire Rachael Hamilton shared her feelings, urging the SNP to forget about the independence ambitions.

In a Twitter post, Ms Hamilton said: "Now the court process has ended, it is time for the SNP to focus on what Scotland needs.

"The government's priorities right now must be tackling the economic crisis and supporting our essential public services, not independence."

Scottish Secretary Alistair Jack told MPs that he respects the Supreme Court's "clear and definitive" ruling.

Fellow Scottish Conservative MP John Lamont for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk tweeted: "The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously.

"Now the people in Scotland want both their governments to be fully focused on the issues that really matter - restoring economic stability, getting people the help they need with their energy bills and supporting our NHS."

Scottish National Party leader for Westminster Ian Blackford MP reiterated his support for a second independence referendum, saying: "The Scottish Parliament has the biggest majority for an independence referendum in the history of devolution."

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