Who can vote in a Scot independence referendum? Key voter groups may be banned by Sturgeon

Indyref2: SNP's Brexit criticism slammed by Tory MSP

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Nicola Sturgeon recently gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson a ‘veto’ on whether or not Scotland can have another independence referendum, an Alba party MP has claimed. Former SNP minister Kenny MacAskill claimed Ms Sturgeon is now locked in a “charade” with Mr Johnson. The former Justice Secretary criticised Ms Sturgeon for previously requesting a Section 30 order from Westminster, the section of the Scotland Act which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved for the UK’s central government.

Writing in the Scottish Left Review, Mr MacAskill claimed the First Minister had “given a veto to Boris Johnson by ceding that a Section 30 order was not only required but the only route”.

Mr MacAskill also slammed the First Minister for putting a coronavirus recovery ahead of IndyRef2.

He wrote: “Well, how long is that to be?… It’s not that a recovery is starting. It’s that the worst is still to come.

“All [Johnson] has to say is ‘now is not the time’. The First Minister has not not only given the Prime Minister a veto but has allowed him to set the timing.”

Who can vote in a Scotland independence referendum?

An official consultation into how proceedings of IndyRef2 could play out practically going forward urged the First Minister to ban English students, armed forces member and second-home owners based in Scotland from voting.

A Scottish Government report released in 2017 analysing the responses to the SNP’s draft Referendum Bill mentioned that only those that are “resident for a temporary or short period of time” in Scotland could participate.

These included “students from England or other countries”, “members of the British Armed Forces” and those “who own holiday homes in Scotland”.

Among other issues raised in the report were whether Scotland’s “expats” located elsewhere in the UK should vote, as well as the question of EU citizens living in the country.

At the time of the consultation, the SNP said it was “vitally important in ensuring the technical procedures around any future referendums are robust, fair and transparent”.

The Referendum (Scotland) Act 2020 ensures that the franchise for any future referendum held by the Scottish Government on any subject will be the same as the franchise held for Scottish parliamentary elections.

Following changes introduced in the Scottish Elections (Franchise and Representation) Act 2020, this means anyone aged 16 or over, who is legally resident in Scotland regardless of nationality, and who is on the Scottish local government electoral register, is entitled to vote as things stand.

The 2020 legislation also extended the right to vote to prisoners serving a sentence of less than one year.

SNP shamed by Truss over attempts to undermine Scotland’s trade boom [INSIGHT]
Nicola Sturgeon blames Westminster after lockdown lifting delayed [REPORT]
SNP to send bill for Brexit port checks to London [ANALYSIS]

However, this could all change if the SNP push through legislation to do so.

Scottish comedian Leo Kearse is one of the latest to join a campaign ensuring that any future independence referendum would include Scots living in the entirety of the UK.

Mr Kearse, who was born in Dumfriesshire and now lives in London, is one of more than 700,000 Scottish citizens living elsewhere in the union.

The award-winning comedian recently stood as a free speech campaigner in the May Holyrood election and said Scots living in the UK “must absolutely” be able to vote in in IndyRef2.

Mr Kearse said: “We’re the Scots who’d be most affected by the Scexit and we’re the Scots who have the most informed opinion of Scotland’s role in the UK as we’ve actually crossed the border and lived with our UK neighbours.

“Working in London in policing, government and culture I’ve seen what a powerful voice Scots have in running the UK.

“I’m worried that the nationalist SNP are fomenting parochialism in young Scots by bribing them to study in Scotland instead of across the border, broaden their horizons and see that there’s a lot of love between the UK’s nations.

“British expats living in Europe were allowed to vote in Brexit, [so] Scots living in the rest of the UK should be allowed to vote in Scexit.”

Mr Kearse said if the SNP try to stop this happening in future, it would be an “undemocratic” move from the party.

Source: Read Full Article