Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have announced March 19 as the date for an emergency conference to be held to discuss how to push through a second independence referendum in Scotland following an unfavorable decision on the legitimacy of a vote without consent from Westminster last month. On Saturday afternoon, Ms Sturgeon said her party would hold a “democracy conference” held on Sunday, March 19 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The extraordinary event will see the SNP draw out plans to defy the Supreme Court to attempt to withdraw from the United Kingdom.
Ms Sturgeon has refused to back down over plans to hold a second independence referendum since the Supreme Court voted against her on November 23.
In a unanimous judgment, the UK’s highest authority ruled that Scotland does not have the sole power to legislate for a referendum.
Ms Sturgeon was trying to circumvent the mandated need for approval from Westminster in order to hold a second vote.
The Conservative Government under a number of different prime ministers have refused to grant permission to the SNP for a second vote, suggesting that the negative 2014 was necessarily a once-in-a-generation referendum.
Swiftly following the judgment, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed that she had asked the SNP’s National Executive Committee to convene a special conference to discuss and agree the details of a proposed de-facto referendum.
The vote would necessarily be de-facto as it would be held without a Section 30 order to legally hold a vote.
At the time, Ms Sturgeon said: “Now that the Supreme Court’s ruling is known and de facto referendum is no longer hypothetical, it is necessary to agree the precise detail of the proposition we intend to put before the country.
“Given the magnitude of these decisions for the SNP, the process of reaching them is one the party as a whole must be fully and actively involved in.”
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She added: “I can therefore confirm that I will be asking our National Executive Committee to convene a special party conference in the new year to discuss and agree the details of a proposed ‘de facto referendum’.
“This is no longer just about whether or not Scotland becomes independent – vital though that decision is – it is now more fundamental.
“It is now about whether or not we even have the basic democratic right to choose our own future.”
She said that, in the meantime, the SNP would “launch and mobilize a major campaign in defense of Scottish democracy”.
As it stands, the current date for a second independence referendum is October 19, 2023, but that was set prior to the Supreme Court ruling against the SNP.
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