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Closed petition Grant a Section 30 Order to enable a Scottish Independence Referendum

The UK Government should grant without delay a Section 30 Order under the Scotland Act to enable an independence referendum to take place in Scotland, to allow the Scottish people, who elected a Scottish Parliament with a clear majority on holding such, to express their democratic will.

More details

Following the Supreme Court's decision of 23 November 2022, it has been confirmed that there is no legal mechanism for the Scottish people to have an independence referendum without Westminster's agreement. The matter requires the UK Government to act and it is not within the competency of the Scottish Parliament.

In the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections the Scottish electorate elected a Parliament with a clear majority supporting a referendum.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 18 April 2023

The Government’s focus is on tackling issues such as the cost of living, energy security, and growing the economy. This is simply not the time to be talking about another independence referendum.

Read the response in full

In 2014, the people of Scotland voted decisively in a referendum to remain part of the UK. Since then the Government has been focused on the issues that really matter to people, and to ensure we prepare for the challenges of the future. A section 30 and further independence referendum at this time would be inconsistent with these ambitions to deliver for the people of Scotland. The UK Government believes the appointment of a new First Minister provides an opportunity for the Governments to work together on those ambitions.

The Prime Minister spoke to the First Minister on 28 March and reiterated that constitutional issues should not distract both Governments from working together to tackle the shared challenges of delivering growth, easing pressures on the cost of living, and supporting the NHS. The Prime Minister has been clear that the UK Government will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government in tackling all the shared challenges we face.

The UK Government is steadfast in its commitment to protect and promote the hundreds of years of shared history, beliefs and interests embodied in our United Kingdom. Scotland benefits greatly from being part of the United Kingdom and the rest of the United Kingdom benefits greatly from Scotland being part of it, with the pooling and sharing of resources that brings. Indeed, when we act as one United Kingdom, we are safer, stronger and more prosperous, and together we are better able to draw on the skills of our great institutions like the NHS and the armed forces.

The UK Government's clear focus is on addressing the challenges we face right now. This includes restoring economic stability, gripping inflation, supporting people with their energy bills, strengthening our NHS, combating climate change, supporting Ukraine and Levelling Up our country.

People across Scotland rightly expect to see both of their governments working together with a relentless focus on the issues that matter to them, their families, and their communities. Focusing resources and attention on addressing these challenges and delivering for the whole of the UK, is the UK Government’s priority.

Scotland Office

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/628746)

Original Government response

The Government’s focus is on tackling issues such as the cost of living, energy security, and growing the economy. Addressing these and delivering for the whole of the UK is the Government’s priority.

Read the response in full
In 2014, the people of Scotland had their say in an independence referendum and voted decisively to remain part of the UK. Then, both the UK Government and the Scottish Government agreed that it was the right thing for the people to have their say in an independence referendum. There was also consensus from Scottish political parties, civic society and people across Scotland. That is not the case at this time.

The Government is steadfast in its commitment to protect and promote the hundreds of years of shared history, beliefs and interests embodied in our United Kingdom. Scotland benefits greatly from being part of the United Kingdom and the rest of the United Kingdom benefits greatly from Scotland being part of it, with the pooling and sharing of resources that brings. Indeed, when we act as one United Kingdom, we are safer, stronger and more prosperous, and together we are better able to draw on the skills of our great institutions like the NHS and the armed forces.

We face major challenges right now - restoring economic stability, gripping inflation, supporting people with their energy bills, strengthening our NHS, combating climate change, supporting Ukraine and Levelling Up our country. As the Prime Minister has been clear, we will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government in tackling all the shared challenges we face.

People across Scotland rightly expect to see both of their governments working together with a relentless focus on the issues that matter to them, their families, and their communities. Focusing resources and attention on addressing these challenges and delivering for the whole of the UK, is the UK Government’s priority.

Scotland Office

This response was given on 9 March 2023. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

MPs debate the Government's policy on an independence referendum for Scotland

On Tuesday 21 November, MPs took part in an adjournment debate relating to the Government's policy on a further independence referendum for Scotland.

The debate was led by Neale Hanvey MP. John Lamont MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, responded for the Government.

What are Adjournment debates?

Adjournment debates are general debates which do not end in a vote. They give a backbench MP the opportunity to raise an issue and receive a response from a government minister.

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