Independence supporters hit Stirling streets for rally after Supreme Court referendum decision

The region’s politicians have been reacting to Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision which has placed a block on plans for a second independence referendum next year.

The decision from the court ruled that the Scottish Government did not have the legal right to have a second poll without the consent of the UK Government.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had hoped to hold a vote on 19 October next year, but said following the decision that she was disappointed, though respected the decision of the court.

Following the confirmation of the decision, organised rallies took place in towns and cities across Scotland – including a gathering in Stirling’s King Street.

The decision has forced a change of plan for Scottish ministers on a second poll next year

Stirling MSP Evelyn Tweed also took part in a larger event at Holyrood, which was attended and addressed by Ms Sturgeon.

The city’s MP Alyn Smith reinforced his backing for plans which will see the SNP host a special party conference next year to determine a path forward.

Mr Smith said: “Legal clarity is always welcome, and what has become clear through this verdict is the death of any notion of a Union of equal partners.

“The UK Government’s position is indefensible. 73 per cent of Scots want back into the European Union, 50 per cent plus want an independent Scotland back in the European Union, and only 22 per cent of Scots trust the UK Government to act in their interests.

“The future of Scotland must be decided by the Scottish people. The past 12 years – even the past 12 weeks – has demonstrated the damage Westminster incompetence continues to wreak on Scotland’s economy and communities. Scottish democracy must prevail.”

The rally attracted attendees of all ages

Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP Keith Brown added: “As the First Minister said in her response to the judgement, the Supreme Court does not make the law, it interprets it and applies it.

“The democratic deficit within the UK is not the fault of the courts but of those politicians at Westminster who are determined to silence the democratic voice of the Scottish people.

“What remains clear is that there is a democratic mandate for a referendum. That is undeniable. And more people are being convinced by the day that Scottish independence is desirable, indeed essential.”

However, Conservative Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alexander Stewart welcomed the unanimous decision from the court and urged Ms Sturgeon to “drop her separatist plans for the constitution” and focus attention on issues including the cost-of-living crisis and the NHS.

Mr Stewart said: “This was a clear and unequivocal verdict delivered by the highest court in the country and the SNP Government as well as their supporters must respect it.

There was passionate debate during the event

“She insisted on taking this case to the Supreme Court at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Scottish taxpayer and this ruling underlines just how much of a waste of time and money it was.

“The Scottish people have collectively made it clear in poll after poll that they do not want another referendum next year, especially as the country faces enormous challenges at this current time.

The Supreme Court decision had been keenly debated on both sides

“Our economy and our NHS are in crisis.

“We have a wave of public-sector strikes including the first teachers’ strike in almost four decades, so tackling these key issues must be everyone’s top priority.”

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