Perthshire pro-independence supporters and politicians are coming to terms with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Scottish Government cannot hold an independence referendum without the UK Government’s consent.
Local Yes supporters in Perth said the ruling was “by no means the end of the road for the independence campaign”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold a referendum on October 19 next year but the court ruled unanimously that she does not have the power to do so, because the issue is reserved to Westminster. And the UK Government has refused to grant formal consent
Lord Reed, Scotland’s most senior judge, also explained that he also rejected the Scottish government’s argument that any referendum would simply be “advisory” and would have no legal effect on the union, with people only being asked to give their opinion.
In the aftermath rallies were called across Scotland with Perth’s Horsecross Plaza the scene of a gathering of around 200 people.
SNP Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart said: “While I am obviously disappointed by the Supreme Court ruling, I am glad that the people of Scotland finally have confirmation that the idea of the UK being a voluntary union is a complete fabrication.
“Since the 2014 referendum, Scotland has been battered by deplorable Westminster governance which we have vehemently rejected at every turn.
“We did not vote for any of this chaos and we have a democratic right to choose our own path, reasserted by the pro-independence majority that was elected into Holyrood last year.
“What the ruling shows is that our democratic rights are being blocked by Westminster, which proves the case for independence entirely.”
Destiny, Perth and Kinross Yes Hub, a group on Facebook, was expecting to get together with other pro independence groups regardless of what the ruling came back as, having been contacted by the nationwide TimeForScotland group which was calling for rallies all over the country.
Around 250 people came out at the plaza in front of the Concert Hall with Saltire flags and Yes banners.
He said: “The mood was positive and determined. We believe that Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision is by no means the end of the road for the independence campaign.
“It clarifies where Scotland stands and blows out of the water the contention that we are in a union of equals that we can exit voluntarily if the people of Scotland so choose. That makes it at least as much of a problem for the Unionist side of the argument as it is for the pro-independence side.”
Mr Duguid concluded: “We will continue to campaign and persuade the undecided, and look forward to the people of Scotland having their say on independence at the earliest possible opportunity.”
Fourteen other rallies happened in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, with others across the water in Dublin, Paris and Berlin.
Yesterday Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife called on the SNP Government to focus now on the “issues that matter” to the Scottish people following the Supreme Court decision.
Mr Fraser said: “The Supreme Court judgement wasn’t surprising but the key thing now is that with this unequivocal verdict, the SNP Government must concentrate on the issues that currently matter to the people of Scotland. We will see the first ever teachers’ strike in a generation tomorrow (November 24), with nurses planning to go on strike along with rail workers in the coming months, and the public being very concerned about the cost of living crisis.
“These are the issues that matter to the people.”