Boris Johnson 'is prepared to take SNP to the Supreme Court to stop ...

Boris Johnson 'is prepared to take Nicola Sturgeon's SNP to the Supreme Court to stop second Scottish independence referendum if it wins Holyrood elections' Scottish Parliament cannot go ahead with a referendum without UK approval Boris Johnson does not want to be 'the Prime Minister who lost Scotland' Nicola Sturgeon made second referendum a key plank of her election manifesto UK Parliament could take SNP to Supreme Court if it tries to hold vote regardless 

By Emer Scully For Mailonline

Published: 10:33 BST, 1 May 2021 | Updated: 10:38 BST, 1 May 2021

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Boris Johnson could take Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish National Party (SNP) to the Supreme Court to put a stop to a second Scottish independence referendum, sources have revealed.

Legal advice dating back to 2011 suggests the Scottish Parliament cannot go ahead with the referendum without approval from the UK Parliament. 

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And Mr Johnson is unlikely to offer this much-needed sign-off because he does not want to be 'the Prime Minister who lost Scotland', the Telegraph reports.

Ms Sturgeon has made calling a fresh ballot on separation as early as this year the key plank of her manifesto.

She has insisted a big SNP win provide a mandate for another contest, even though the last vote in 2014 was billed as 'once in a generation'. 

The opposition within the UK Parliament is so strong it could take the SNP to the Supreme Court if a 'not now' approach in light of the coronavirus pandemic does not work.

Legal advice dating back to 2011 suggests the Scottish Parliament cannot go ahead with the referendum without approval from the UK Parliament. Pictured, Boris Johnson on Thursday

Legal advice dating back to 2011 suggests the Scottish Parliament cannot go ahead with the referendum without approval from the UK Parliament. Pictured, Boris Johnson on Thursday

Scottish First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon campaigning today in Edinburgh

Scottish First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon campaigning today in Edinburgh

A Savanta ComRes poll found 54 per cent would vote No if Ms Sturgeon achieves her ambition of triggering another referendum

A Savanta ComRes poll found 54 per cent would vote No if Ms Sturgeon achieves her ambition of triggering another referendum

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Poll trackers show that after a surge in support for independence last year the two camps are now effectively in a dead heat

Poll trackers show that after a surge in support for independence last year the two camps are now effectively in a dead heat 

In that case, the SNP could table a referendum bill in Holyrood without the permission of the UK Parliament. Ms Sturgeon could go on to try to hold a vote without permission, which would spark a court case, sources suggest.

A UK government source said: 'If it comes to that, if those are the cards they play, I don’t think the UK Government can sit back and do nothing.'

Higher spending in Scotland 'has not driven up standards' 

Nicola Sturgeon's spending bonanza on education has not driven up standards, according to a think-tank. 

A report from the Institute for Government (IfG) found that although spending per pupil was around a tenth higher north of the border, attainment in maths and science among 15-year-olds had

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