UK Supreme Court to proceed with latest Scottish independence case

UK Supreme Court to proceed with latest Scottish independence case

The UK Supreme Court has told the UK and Scottish governments that it will consider the issue of whether the latest independence case is premature at the same time it considers the substantive issue of whether it is competent.

It made the comments in a reply sent to both sides after the Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Stewart of Dirleton QC, had asked it to make a preliminary ruling to throw the case out without proceeding to a full hearing.

The court confirmed that it had refused the application that would have forced both sides to “to file written cases restricted to the question whether the court can or should accept the reference”.

Parties have been told to submit legal papers detailing their cases by 9 August 2022.

A UK government spokesperson said: “We appreciate the Supreme Court dealing with our application quickly. We will proceed to prepare our written case on the preliminary points we have noted, and on the substantive issue, to the timetable set out by the court.

“On the question of legislative competence, the UK government’s clear view remains that a bill legislating for a referendum on independence would be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “Whether the reference is accepted, how long it takes to determine, which matters the court considers and when and what judgment is arrived at are all for the court to determine.

“The reference is now before the Supreme Court, and the court should be allowed to fulfil its function.”

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