UK Supreme Court

The UK's highest court has been urged to resolve the issue of whether Holyrood can set up a Scottish independence referendum without the agreement of Westminster. The Scottish government's top law officer, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain, argues it was in the 'public interest' to settle the question. However, the UK government wants the court to refuse to rule on the case. It argues that the question is beyond the court's jurisdiction - and that it could only give a judgement if the bill has been passed by MSPs. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold an independence referendum on 19 October 2023, but this is opposed by the UK government. The Scottish government case in the Supreme Court argues the referendum is 'advisory' and would have no legal effect on the Union. UK law officers argue the constitution is reserved to Westminster and it is therefore a matter beyond the powers of the Scottish Parliament.