DOUGLAS Ross has claimed it is a “disgrace” that the Supreme Court has been asked to rule on whether Scotland can legislate for indyref2 without Westminster consent, calling it the “legal battle that nobody wants”.

The Scottish Tory leader, who fought and lost the 2021 Holyrood election on a platform opposing a second independence vote, hit out at the legal case as it got underway in London.

Ross claimed it was Nicola Sturgeon – and not the Tories’ refusal to countenance a second vote despite a pro-independence majority at Holyrood – that had “driven Scotland’s two governments into a legal showdown”.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry 'cautiously optimistic' Supreme Court WILL grant indyref2

The Moray MP said: “Whatever the outcome of the case at Scotland and the UK’s Supreme Court, it’s a disgrace that the SNP have forced this legal battle that nobody wants during a time of crisis.

“Now more than ever, all of our focus must be on what really matters to people across Scotland – tackling the global cost-of-living crisis and the record-high waiting times in Scotland’s NHS.

“The SNP government have, at the worst possible time, become distracted again by their own selfish interests, and Nicola Sturgeon is wasting precious time and money dragging the country through this court chaos.

“By pushing independence at every turn, she has driven Scotland’s two governments into a legal showdown.”

He further said Sturgeon should “abandon her independence obsession”, saying it was “vital” for the UK and Scottish governments to work together.

In London, the Scottish Tory leader refused to speak to The National's reporters about the indyref2 case, saying he "had another meeting". Instead, a standardised statement was emailed out to the press.

It comes as the Supreme Court in London heard that it is of “exceptional importance” that the question of competence when it comes to legislating for indyref2 is resolved.

The Lord Advocate, the Scottish Government’s most senior law officer, began making her arguments after a short introductory statement from Supreme Court president Lord Reed, who is presiding in the panel of five judges.

Reed set out the function of the court and said it would likely be “some months” before a decision was reached.

Two days have been set aside for the hearing at the Supreme Court in London, with the UK Government expected to respond on Wednesday.

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