London, Edinburgh downplay threat of courtroom battle over Scottish independence By Reuters

2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Michael Gove arrives at Downing Avenue in London, Britain February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Picture 2/2 LONDON (Reuters) -British and Scottish politicians on Sunday performed down the danger of a authorized battle over whether or not Scotland can maintain an independence referendum, however supplied little readability as to how London


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Michael Gove arrives at Downing Avenue in London, Britain February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Picture

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LONDON (Reuters) -British and Scottish politicians on Sunday performed down the danger of a authorized battle over whether or not Scotland can maintain an independence referendum, however supplied little readability as to how London and Edinburgh would resolve their variations on the problem.

Professional-independence events received a majority within the Scottish parliament in elections held on Thursday, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated this gave her a mandate to push forward with plans for a brand new vote on independence as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Social gathering, which is in opposition in Scotland, strongly oppose a referendum, saying the problem was settled in 2014 when Scots voted towards independence by 55% to 45%.

With hypothesis mounting that the British authorities would go to courtroom to cease a referendum, senior minister Michael Gove was repeatedly requested throughout TV interviews on Sunday how London would deal with the Scottish problem.

He refused to offer any particulars, arguing that the Scottish individuals need politicians to give attention to points corresponding to restoration from the pandemic and how you can repair issues corresponding to poor schooling outcomes for Scottish pupils and excessive drug use.

Nevertheless, Gove appeared to brush away the concept of a courtroom battle. Requested on the BBC whether or not the federal government would take Sturgeon to courtroom to cease her from holding a referendum, he stated: “No, the very first thing I ought to say is congratulations to Nicola (on her election victory).”

Requested to verify whether or not he was positively saying “no” to authorized motion, Gove stated: “We’re not going close to there.”

Political commentators differed on whether or not Gove’s solutions amounted to a dedication to not go to courtroom or to dodging the query.

Sturgeon herself, showing shortly after Gove on the identical BBC programme, stated that no matter his actual meant which means it will be “absurd and utterly outrageous” for the British authorities to take authorized motion to cease a referendum.

“For this to finish up in courtroom, which isn’t one thing I ever wish to see, it will imply {that a} Conservative authorities had refused to respect the democratic needs of the Scottish individuals,” she stated.

Sturgeon argued that if the British authorities tried to make use of “drive of legislation” to forestall a referendum, that may quantity to saying that the 300-year-old union between England and Scotland was now not primarily based on consent.

“I do not suppose we are going to get there,” she stated.

Underneath the 1998 Scotland Act – which created the Scottish parliament and devolved some powers from London to Edinburgh – all issues referring to the “Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England” are reserved to the UK parliament.

Underneath the act, the UK parliament can grant the Scottish authorities the authority to carry a referendum, a course of that was used to permit the 2014 plebiscite to go forward and which Sturgeon stated ought to unfold once more for a brand new referendum.

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