The U.K. Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland does not have the power to hold a new referendum on independence without the consent of the British government.
The judgment is a setback for the Scottish government’s campaign to break away from the United Kingdom.
The top court ruled that the Scottish Parliament “does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence.”
The semi-autonomous Scottish government wants to hold a referendum next October with the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
The Conservative U.K.-wide government in London refuses to approve a vote, saying the question was settled in a 2014 referendum that saw Scottish voters reject independence.
The semi-autonomous Scottish government had asked the top court to decide whether the Scottish Parliament can legislate to hold a referendum next October with the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Wednesday’s ruling is unlikely to end the long-running wrangle over the issue.