The UK Supreme Court has said Scotland cannot hold another independence referendum without Westminster’s approval.
The Scottish National Party has pledged to hold the referendum – warning that Brexit has fundamentally changed the situation since the last one was held in 2014.
The party believes it also has a mandate to hold the vote given its continued election success and the fact the majority of the Scottish Parliament backs independence.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon began her attempt to get the vote - dubbed IndyRef2 - off the ground in 2017.
Then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May refused her permission at the time and subsequent Prime Ministers have doubled down on the stance.
That led to the matter going before the Supreme Court – with judges asked whether Scottish Parliament could pass a bill to hold a referendum without the nod from Westminster.
The court has now ruled that it cannot, meaning Edinburgh will now have to decide whether to pass the bill regardless and hold the referendum itself.
Shortly after the ruling was handed down, Ms Sturgeon said it “exposes as myth any notion of the UK as a voluntary partnership”.
1/ While disappointed by it I respect ruling of @UKSupremeCourt - it doesn't make law, only interprets it.
A law that doesn't allow Scotland to choose our own future without Westminster consent exposes as myth any notion of the UK as a voluntary partnership & makes case for Indy
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 23, 2022
She noted the ruling simply “blocks one route” to independence, warning “Scottish democracy will not be denied”.
Many in Scotland will view the next UK general election as a de facto independence vote.