Scotland: Legal action on referendum 'risky' says expert
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The Scottish First Minister’s plan to take the battle for a second referendum into the UK courts does not have a clear “end game,” according to constitutional expert Coree Brown Swan. Nicola Sturgeon has raised the prospect of the SNP taking the British Government to court in order to secure a referendum on Scottish independence. However, Ms Brown Swan argues the Scottish Government’s legal strategy is a risky one with the courts likely to rule in favour of Westminster and Boris Johnson.
Ms Brown Swan told Express.co.uk: “It is a risky strategy to challenge the UK’s decision in court.
Because the suggestion we have seen from the courts is that they would back the concept of parliamentary sovereignty and back the constitutional make-up of the United Kingdom.
“And the right to have a referendum is a reserved issue.
“It could be a mobilising factor perhaps if you see the courts saying no to Scotland, subverting the preferences of the Scottish people.
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The research fellow at Centre on Constitutional Change in Edinburgh added: “Perhaps that is a rallying factor but where do you go from there?
“Because if the UK government has said no and the courts have said no then are you forced into having some sort of consultative referendum or non-agreed referendum.
“But then no one will recognise it and unionist won’t take part.
“So it is unclear where the end game is here with that legal strategy.”
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The constitutional analysis comes as Nicola Sturgeon’s Deputy Leader Keith Brown compared the UK government challenging the legality of the second vote on Scottish independence to the actions of former US President Trump’s actions.
Mr Brown told BBC Newsnight last week: “The idea that legal processes can be used to subvert or veto the democratic decision of the Scottish people is as bad as the antics we saw from Donald Trump.
“There are questions as to how this is done and done properly and it will be done properly.
“But as we’re seeing over the last few days since the election result, we’re seeing change in language from the UK Government.
He added: “Michael Gove even said that they wouldn’t challenge this in the courts in any event and I think unlike some of the Scottish Tories that you’ll hear from later on in the programme.
“I think that there is a realisation that this has been voted for and the mandate is there and this referendum is going to happen.”
Ms Sturgeon has ramped up demands for a vote on Scotland’s future after the SNP secured in the Scottish elections on May 6.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has strongly rejected any notion of a second Scottish independence referendum arguing that now is “not the time for talking about ripping our country apart”.
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