Scotland politics

IndyCamp eviction case to be heard on 24 March

Indy ref campers
Image caption A group of independence campaigners attended the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Wednesday

A court hearing as to whether a group of independence campaigners are able to camp outside the Scottish Parliament will take place on 24 March.

The parliament's corporate body is seeking permission to have the IndyCamp group removed.

A procedural hearing was held at the Court of Session to decide the next steps in the case.

Before setting the March court date, Lord Malcolm said the case "should be resolved sooner rather than later".

The campers aim to stay in place until Scotland is declared independent.

At a previous hearing in January, the group signalled its intention to fight the case under the name of "the sovereign and indigenous peoples of Scotland".

The campers have previously voiced hopes that their submissions could see the Act of Union dissolved, bringing about the end of the United Kingdom.

Arguments in the case will now be heard on 24 March - the date the Scottish government had penned as "independence day" if the "Yes" side had won the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

'No choice'

The corporate body of the parliament has insisted that the group did not have permission to camp on parliament land and is preventing other members of the public from using the space.

Updating MSPs, Scottish Parliament chief executive Sir Paul Grice said he welcomed the progress made in court.

He said: "As we have said consistently throughout this process, the corporate body's main aim is to protect and defend the rights of all those who wish to access and use parliament land responsibly.

"The corporate body regrets that it has been forced to take this action but given the protesters refusal to vacate the land or consider alternative options such as on-going daily protests, we were left with no choice."

BBC political reporter Philip Sim has been covering the case, to look back on the latest news, follow him on Twitter, @BBCPhilipSim

Image caption The campaigners aim to remain in place until Scotland is declared independent from the UK

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