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UK government 'won't recognise' Scottish independence whatever top court rules — political expert

Scotland’s top law officer on Tuesday put forward a case for a fresh referendum on the country’s independence to the U.K’s Supreme Court, saying it was “necessary and in the public interest”.

Presenting her case to the court, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain said: “The issue of Scottish independence is alive and a significant one in Scottish electoral politics.”

The issue of independence for Scotland has been rumbling since the last referendum in 2014 when the Scottish public voted against it.

However, following the 2016 Brexit referendum, members of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), which leads the devolved Scottish government, have said the case for independence has been renewed.

Bain cited the 2019 general election as a reason for a fresh referendum into Scottish independence, saying that a “majority of Scottish MPs were returned on a manifesto that supported a further independence referendum being held.”

She also said that the Scottish government had been elected “on a manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on the question of Scottish independence in the course of the current session of the Scottish Parliament.”

Responding to the presentation of documents and evidence for the Scottish government’s claim, Supreme Court President Lord Reed said it was “likely to be some months before we give our judgment.”

Speaking to Euronews, Michael Keating, Professor of Politics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland said, “in 2014, Scotland voted 55 per cent against and 45 per cent for independence.

“There has been a shift since Brexit because Scotland voted by a large majority to remain in the European Union so there has been a certain shift of people, who are in favour of staying in Europe, towards independence.

“There’s been another movement in the opposite direction, a small number of pro-Brexit people now are against independence but the big news is there is a strong connection between wanting to be in Europe and wanting to become independent and this means that support for independence is running at about 50 per cent,” he said.

Regardless of the legal position, Keating says that “politically, if Scotland voted for independence then that would be a political fact that could not be ignored”. But whatever the Supreme Court’s decision, “there will be no independence” as the UK government would not recognise a referendum.

“The longer term (question) is how long it can keep up this position, because governments have never denied that Scotland has a right to self-determination, and at some point they’re going to have to accept that there must be a mechanism for Scotland to exercise that right, and the referendum seems to be the only way to do it.”

To watch the full interview click on the video in the player above.

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