Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

UK Government asks Supreme Court to dismiss second Scottish independence referendum

© Jane Barlow / PANicola Sturgeon wants another Independence referendum on October 23 2023.
Nicola Sturgeon wants another Independence referendum on October 23 2023.

The UK Government has filed papers urging judges to dismiss the Scottish Government’s request for a ruling on whether it has the power to hold a second independence referendum.

The Lord Advocate, the Scottish Government’s most senior law officer has asked the Supreme Court to look into whether it could hold its own re-run of the 2014 poll without the consent of the UK Government.

In her filing, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain said she “does not have the necessary degree of confidence” the legislation would be in the gift of Holyrood.

It follows First Minister Nicola Sturgeon setting out her route map to securing another referendum on independence, which she wants to hold on October 19, 2023.

But the UK Government has said the request should be thrown out immediately.

It is understood they asked the court if the referral was “premature”, given the usual process would be for the Scottish Secretary to refer legislation to the court after it had passed at Holyrood.

A provision of the Scotland Act allows for the Lord Advocate “to refer to the Supreme Court any devolution issue which is not the subject of proceedings”.

Tory leadership hopefuls Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid said on Sunday it should be at least 10 years before another referendum is held, flying in the face of the Scottish Government timetable that would see Scots head to the polls on the issue next October.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We have been clear that now is not the time to be discussing another independence referendum, when people across Scotland want both their governments to be working together on the issues that matter to them and their families.

“However, following the Lord Advocate’s referral of the Scottish Government’s draft Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, the UK Government has today lodged its initial response with the Supreme Court.

“The papers confirm that the Advocate General for Scotland will become a formal party to the case, and ask the Court to consider whether it should accept the Lord Advocate’s referral.”