The Supreme Court ruling on independence will see the Yes movement reach “new heights”, the SNP’s depute leader has said.
The party had hoped to hold a vote on the constitutional issue in October 2023, however in a verdict delivered at the UK’s highest court, it was unanimously determined that legislating for a referendum on the constitution would be outside the competence of the Scottish Parliament.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed the decision, describing it as a “clear and decisive” ruling.
Keith Brown, who has served as the SNP’s depute since 2018, said the ruling will only intensify the demand for independence.
He added it “shattered forever the notion of the UK as a voluntary union of nations”, as he sent a warning to opposition politicians.
Mr Brown said: “It also laid bare the duplicity of the Westminster parties who are flagrantly breaching their own pledges to the people to respect Scottish democracy.
“But if those same parties think that this week has ended the debate on Scotland’s future, they couldn’t be more mistaken.
“It is a movement which will hit new heights by galvanising public opinion in every city, town, village and community the length and breadth of the country.”
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that Scottish democracy would not be “denied”, as she set out her intention that the next general election should act as a de-facto referendum.
Mr Brown added: “The Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems are breaking the promise they signed in 2014 in which they said it was for the Scottish people to decide how Scotland should be governed.
“It is for those parties to justify to the people why they now believe they can so arrogantly renege on those pledges.
“They should stop running scared of democracy and of a referendum they so clearly fear they would lose.
“The SNP will never give up on democracy and we are more determined than ever that democracy must and will prevail.”
Scottish Conservative shadow constitution secretary Donald Cameron MSP said: ”These shrill comments just highlight how out of touch the SNP have become with the mood across Scotland.
“Like Nicola Sturgeon, Keith Brown is playing to the gallery of fringe Nationalists fixated only on independence.
“The majority of Scots will be watching on with dismay. They never wanted a doomed Supreme Court case and they have no appetite for another divisive indyref campaign on the SNP’s timetable.
“They recognise this is the wrong priority at the worst possible time. Instead, they want the SNP Government to focus on what matters to them – the global cost-of-living crisis, a wave of public-sector strikes and a Scottish NHS on its knees.”