Is a second referendum on Scotland’s independence further away than ever?

The supreme court has ruled that the Scottish parliament cannot hold a second referendum without Westminster’s approval. Where does that leave the independence movement?It was a gamble on a legal solution to a political stalemate: successive prime ministers had refused to allow another referendum on Scotland’s independence from the UK, despite repeated calls from the SNP. So the supreme court was asked to rule on whether a referendum could be held without the approval of Westminster.The decision was a unanimous no. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s longest-serving first minister, was disappointed but, she said, undaunted. Instead, she announced that the next general election would become a de facto referendum on the issue. But what does that mean in practice – and how likely is it to lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom? Continue reading…