Ian Blackford: How can Scotland deliver on 'mandate' for indyref2 after Supreme Court ruling?

23 November 2022, 21:03

Ian Blackford has asked how Scotland can deliver on the 'mandate' for a second independence referendum, after the Supreme Court ruled that Holyrood can't hold indyref2 without the consent of Westminster.
Ian Blackford has asked how Scotland can deliver on the 'mandate' for a second independence referendum, after the Supreme Court ruled that Holyrood can't hold indyref2 without the consent of Westminster. Picture: LBC / Getty

By Chris Samuel

Ian Blackford has asked how Scotland can deliver on the 'mandate' for a second independence referendum, after the Supreme Court ruled that Holyrood can't hold indyref2 without the consent of Westminster.

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Asked if he was surprised by the outcome, the leader of the SNP in the House of Commons said: "I'm disappointed, let's be honest. We'd hoped that this might've been a way through.

"Of course, we absolutely respect the right of the judges to make the determination that they have done, and it closes down this particular avenue and we have to move on.'

He then asked what Scotland's route to independence would look like, after the court's ruling, pointing to what he said was a 'mandate' for another vote.

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He said: "I mean, I think there is a real question as to what is the route for Scotland to exercise its right to self-determination, we've got a situation that the government in London is saying 'no'.

SNP's Ian Blackford speaks to LBC's Iain Dale

"We've heard repeatedly over the years that this is a union of equals, how do you leave a union of equals?

"Let's take Brexit as a counterpoint, we know that what happened after that referendum, that the process of leaving the EU was through triggering Article 50.

"We have no such mechanism in the union between Scotland and England.

"If you take it that the SNP was won the last eight elections, we demonstrably fought the election in 2021 on the right to choose a referendum.'

"If you look at it in Westminster terms - as you know, we have two votes: constituency votes and list votes - we won 62 of the 73 seats, first past the post.

"There's a 'yes' majority in the Parliament in total."

He added: "I think a lot of people would accept that that is a mandate for an independence referendum, but Westminster says 'no'."

In response to the court's decision, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP will use the next UK general election as a "de facto referendum" to show a majority of people in Scotland back independence.

She said the party would begin the process of deciding how this would work, and that a special party conference would be called in the new year.

Ms Sturgeon said: "We will find another democratic, lawful means for Scottish people to express their will."

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