Please Read: Scottish Referendum Questions – Part 1
The following blog set the stall, as the potential for a Scottish referendum is certainly a hot topic. However, there are still so many unanswered questions regarding the what’s and not’s floating around. Helping you get a clearer grasp on matters, the following addresses more key questions related to any potential Scottish referendum.
Can Sturgeon call another referendum?
No, she does not. In reality, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon does by no means have the power to call another referendum. Instead, the Scottish government would have to seek a “Section 30” order, to which the UK government would need to be in agreement with.
What is a Section 30 order?
The Section 30 order is the means by which the transferring of power that would normally be held by Westminster over to the Scottish government is done. Scotland would then have the power or authority to call for a second referendum.
Would PM Theresa May be willing to hand over this power?
Right now, she is not answering one way or the other. A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been adamantly against a second referendum, told Business Insider that the decision would not be about whether another referendum could happen but rather if it should. In May’s opinion, the position should be a resounding “no.” When asked whether Downing Street would veto a second referendum, officials refrained from giving a straight answer, replying that, “I’m not getting into the hypotheticals of the situation.”
Realistically, is there likely to be a veto?
Word on the ground is that it is fairly unlikely that the UK would veto Scotland’s move for a referendum. It is considered that it would be a rather self-defeating if the UK government should decide to oppose the Scots decision to call a referendum. This position is reiterated by polling expert John Curtice who told Business Insider that such a refusal would have the effect of causing an increase in public support for another referendum and ultimately independence itself. This would suggest that Downing Street would not veto a second referendum. Instead, what they could do is agree to one, under the condition that it was held after Britain left the EU.
Will Scotland actually call for a referendum vote?
It is yet unclear whether a second independence referendum will occur. Sturgeon, at the outset, was pushing for a “compromise” option that would cause a second referendum to be avoided if Britain chose not to remain the single market. She has since announced the prime minister’s decision to opt for a “hard Brexit” and this has made the possibility of a second referendum more imminent.
Which way will Scotland vote?
Currently, polling remains just about the same as when the last referendum vote took place. The Scottish National Party was expecting a huge increase in support for independence because of the Brexit vote, but remain disappointed as this not materialise even though negotiations with the EU had begun and the realities of Brexit became clear. Still valid are the economic arguments that won the independence referendum for the “no” side and it can be argued that Brexit has strengthened this.
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Alexander Bowring is a London based writer and a Southampton Solent University Screenwriting graduate. He has worked alongside TV personality and Telegraph feature writer Alison Cork, whilst also having produced content for ITV, This Morning, Canvas8, Who’s Jack, Alison at Home, and Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors. Alexander also has a keen interest in investments.