“I will not allow democracy in Scotland to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson,” warned the chief minister and independence leader, Nicola Sturgeon, before the Scottish Parliament, at the time of challenging the ‘premier’ and putting on the table the supposed date for a new sovereign referendum: October 19, 2023.

Sturgeon has reported that he has decided to write to Johnson to allow a second independence referendum by activating section 30 of the Scotland Act, which allows the temporary transfer of powers to hold the call, as happened in 2014 when the then ‘premier’ David Cameron agreed to the demands of the then chief minister, Alex Salmond.

Boris Johnson has indicated, however, this time that he does not intend to give in and that the future of Scotland was decided “for a generation” in the consultation eight years ago, when he won permanence in the United Kingdom over independence by ten points ( 55% to 45%).

“If Westminster or the Supreme Court block the second referendum, independence will become our only claim and the next election will be a ‘de facto’ referendum,” warned the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), who has assured be ready to wage a parallel battle before the Supreme Court.

One day after the British Parliament gave its initial approval to the controversial law that unilaterally modifies the Irish Protocol, the Scottish Government has distinguished itself by publishing its own referendum law, which has stressed that the unequivocal question must be the same as in the first question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”.

“The question of independence cannot be suppressed, but decided democratically,” Sturgeon stressed. “Independence is about equipping ourselves to navigate the future, guided by our values, aspirations and interests. We are at a critical time in discussing and deciding the future of our country, but the British Government has unfortunately given up on respect our democracy.

The SNP leader has assured that Brexit has had a great economic impact on Scotland, as has the conservative government’s lukewarm response to the cost of living crisis. “We lack the tools to shape our economy and ensure our prosperity. We are not free to stop budget cuts, restore freedom of movement, or decide how to spend public money, while tens of thousands of children are pushed to poverty”.

The chief minister has insisted that the basis of her demands is the defense of “democratic rights” in Scotland, and that, therefore, the referendum must be “legal” and not merely consultative. After a rise in support for independence during the pandemic, the polls at this point give a tie between “yes” and “no”.

The leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, Douglas Ross, has replied that holding a new referendum in 2023 would be “potentially illegal” and “deeply divisive”. Ross is, however, in a compromised position, having supported (along with 140 other deputies from his party) the motion of no confidence against Boris Johnson.

Nicola Sturgeon wanted, in any case, to take advantage of Johnson’s weakness to speed up her plans, aware that a change of leader in the Conservative Party or a Labor Party government could put a stop to her independence claims. The chief minister, in fact, kicked off the 2023 referendum two weeks ago, when she presented the first installment of the new “white paper” on independence, focused on economic issues and entitled: “Richer, happier and more fair Why not, Scotland?

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