The Supreme Court has ruled that the Scottish government cannot organise its own independence referendum.
In a blow for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a panel of five judges said that as constitutional matters are “reserved” to Westminster, the Scottish Parliament cannot legislate for a second referendum.
Announcing the unanimous ruling, Lord Reed said: “The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence.”
The case was brought to the court after Sturgeon set out plans to hold a second vote on independence on October 19 next year.
She said if that were not possible, the SNP would make the next general election a “de facto referendum” on whether Scotland should be independent.