Scotland’s government on Tuesday drew the battle lines for a legal and political tussle with London as it announced plans to hold a second independence referendum on October 19, 2023. Addressing the Edinburgh parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon conceded that her devolved administration may lack the power to call the vote without London’s approval. To ensure legal clarity, it will seek an opinion from the UK Supreme Court before it asks voters: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”The phrasing of the question was the same as Scottish voters were asked in 2014. Then, they agreed to stay in the United Kingdom, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s UK government says that settled the matter for a generation. But Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) says the UK’s divorce from the European Union, following a 2016 referendum, has transformed the debate. Most Scottish voters were opposed to Brexit, and the SNP-led government said that with a majority in the Edinburgh parliament now in favour of independence, Scots should be consulted again. Sturgeon stressed that the “consultative referendum” would only proceed with the approval of the UK Supreme Court. A vote in favour of independence would still need approval from both parliaments in Edinburgh and London before Scotland could formally break away.