IT'S been a historic day in Scottish politics. The nature of the United Kingdom as a voluntary union has been shown to be a myth. It is nothing more than one of those self-serving lies told to Scotland by anti-independence Westminster politicians in an effort to secure Scotland's loyalty.

It's a myth with no more substance than Gordie Broon's infamous Vow or the assertions that the UK is a partnership of equals or that Scotland needed the UK in order to assure its continuing membership of the European Union.

It was interesting that, in its ruling, the Supreme Court refused to consider questions of whether international law gives Scotland the right to self-determination. Instead, it ruled that this principle does not apply to Scotland because Scotland is not a colony and Scotland is not oppressed. It further ruled that it does not apply because Scotland is not denied meaningful access to control over its own affairs - and then it went on to issue a ruling denying Scotland meaningful access to control over its own affairs as far as deciding whether Scotland wishes to revisit the question of independence.

However, we now have a definitive answer to the question of whether the UK is indeed a voluntary union of nations, and we know that it is not. Claiming that the UK is a voluntary union is meaningless if, before they can ask themselves that question, the smaller nations of that Union must obtain the permission of a parliament in which their representatives are numerically overwhelmed by representatives of the largest nation. Given the structure of the UK, this means that a Prime Minister whose power and authority rests on the back of MPs representing English constituencies has a de facto veto over whether Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland can ask their people if they wish to remain a part of the UK or not. That's a voluntary union in the same sense as telling someone that they have a right to leave your house and go on a trip to the countryside after you have locked all the doors and windows and hidden the keys, their car keys, and their wallet.

This is not a situation created by the Supreme Court - the Supreme Court does not make laws; it merely interprets laws created by Westminster - and it's Westminster which has created this travesty of democracy.

The Labour and Conservative parties have every right to oppose independence and every right to oppose another independence referendum, but what they do not have the right to do (while still calling themselves democratic parties) is to appeal to an authority outwith Scotland in order to ensure that they can still get their way after putting their opposition to another referendum to the people of Scotland in an election which they lost.

The onus is now on those Westminster politicians to explain what the internal Scottish democratic route to another independence referendum is now that we know it is not the people of Scotland giving the Scottish Parliament a majority of pro-independence MSPs elected on a mandate to deliver another referendum. It was noticeable during PMQs in the Commons today that the unelected Prime Minister Rishi Sunak studiously refused to answer when asked what that route might be.

The colonial governor Alister Jack also refused to answer that question and, for good measure, denied that the Scottish Parliament does indeed have a mandate for another independence referendum, airily waving away the legitimacy of Scottish Green MSPs because reasons.

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The key question is what happens next. In her response to the ruling, the First Minister confirmed that the next elections in Scotland will be a de facto referendum on independence and announced a special SNP conference to decide the question to be put to the electorate in that election and how to proceed in the event of a Yes majority. Discussions will also be required with the Scottish Greens and the other pro-independence parties. It is very much to be hoped that a common approach can be agreed upon. This is an issue which is bigger than any one party - even though it will be the SNP as the largest pro-independence party that will take the leading role. This is an issue which is bigger than an individual's ego.

However, the question of independence is no longer just about ensuring that Scotland always gets the governments it votes for. It is no longer just about ensuring Scotland decides for itself what its place in the world is or even about creating a Scotland that works for the benefit of all its citizens. Independence is still about all those things, but now it is also about guaranteeing democracy itself because as we learned today, that right can continue to be trampled over as long as Scotland remains a part of this involuntary unequal Union founded upon lies and deceit.