SCOTTISH Tories have welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict that an independence referendum cannot be legally held without Westminster’s permission.

Party leader Douglas Ross responded to Wednesday’s judgment with a celebration of the “clear and unequivocal” move.

“The Scottish people have made it clear in poll after poll that they don’t want another referendum next year,” he claimed – despite the 2021 Holyrood election returning a majority of MSPs standing for indyref2 in this parliament.

“The country faces enormous challenges right now. Our economy, our NHS are in crisis. We have a wave of public sector strikes – including the first teachers’ strike in almost four decades. These key issues must be everyone’s top priority," he said.

“Holding another divisive referendum next year is the wrong priority at the worst possible time for Scotland.”

Meanwhile, former Tory MSP Adam Tomkins was unable to hide his cheer at the blocking of a referendum.

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“I’m stunned by that, I have to say,” the constitutional lawyer wrote. “Delighted and stunned.”

He added: “An absolute disaster for the nationalists, and bringing this case was their ruse, let’s not forget.”

Speaking at a press conference following the result, Nicola Sturgeon said triumphant attitudes from the Unionists would not be wise.

"Unionists of a more thoughtful disposition will, I suspect, know that to be misguided," she told the media.

"Indeed, they will have been hoping that the Court - as the UK Government asked it to do - would have declined to answer the substantive question today. 

"That is because they will understand that this judgment raises profound and deeply uncomfortable questions about thebasis and future of the United Kingdom."

Baroness Ruth Davidson, former Scottish Tory chief, also welcomed the result.

READ MORE: LIVE: Supreme Court says Scotland cannot hold indyref2 without UK permission

“While this ruling isn't surprising, its unanimity & clarity is welcome. No doubt the SNP will try to leverage this ruling for further grievance. If only the huge effort, capacity & resource spent bidding to rerun the original vote had been put into health, education & the economy.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar was more delicate with his language, but the message was strikingly similar.

The National: Anas Sarwar

“We must now focus on the problems facing our country, from rising bills to the crisis in our NHS,” he said in a statement.

“There is not a majority in Scotland for a referendum or independence, neither is there a majority for the status quo.”

The First Minister had asked the Lord Advocate to refer the Scottish Government’s Independence Referendum Bill to the court to determine whether it was legally competent without a Section 30 order being granted by the UK first.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon reacts as Supreme Court blocks indyref2

While Scotland’s top legal officer, the Lord Advocate, argued it was legally sound as the bill would not directly affect reserved matters, the UK Government called on the court not to make a decision on the matter at all.

But on Wednesday, judges decided that the bill was not “loosely” connected to the reserved matter of the constitution as the Lord Advocate suggested – and therefore Scotland could not press ahead with indyref2 on October 19, 2023, as Nicola Sturgeon had planned.

Now, it is expected that the SNP will push ahead with plans to hold a de-facto referendum through the next General Election.

More than a dozen rallies will take place across Scotland on Wednesday to coincide with the verdict.