Westminster has not sanctioned a referendum but the SNP maintains it would be lawful, though the details are fuzzy. Glasgow University law professor Adam Tomkins has previously flagged up the Supreme Court’s robust interpretation of Section 28(7) of the Scotland Act, which says the UK Parliament retains ‘the power… to make laws for Scotland’. The legal scholar argued that any Holyrood Bill on independence ‘would surely be struck down’.

Is there a way to hold a referendum without a Section 30 Order (the legislative go-ahead from Westminster) and not fall foul of 28(7)? My layman’s brain pipes up: sure, Holyrood could just legislate for a non-binding referendum and, if the Leave side wins, wield it as a moral cudgel against Westminster. Assuming ministers took fright and rushed to make concessions — because of course they would — this little stunt could net the separatists an official referendum or another Union-enervating devolution of powers. Either way, the campaign to abolish the United Kingdom would score a major victory.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Transport Matters

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