Great Britain

Boris Johnson rejects Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for a second Scottish referendum after SNP landslide

BORIS Johnson flatly rejected a formal request from SNP boss Nicola Sturgeon yesterday to hold a second independence referendum.

Scotland’s First Minister called for a Section 30 to be granted to stage another vote - claiming her party had won an “unarguable” case for it after the SNP won 47 of the 59 seats north of the border.

She set out her demands in a bizarre "Dear Boris" letter - arguing he had "a democratic duty" to hand Scots another vote and saying the "tectonic plates" had shifted.

And Ms Sturgeon firmly warned she would not take no for an answer and raised the prospects of taking other means necessary to achieve a referendum, although she has ruled out holding an illegal Catalan-style referendum.

In an ominous warning that sparked fears of a major constitutional battle, Ms Sturgeon said: “I will consider all reasonable options to secure Scotland's right to self-determination.”
But later yesterday the PM rejected her formal request for another vote.
And the Scottish Tories said her demands marked the start of a “neverendum” campaign from the Scottish nationalists.
This is because Ms Sturgeon’s plans involve handing the power to the Scottish Parliament to stage independence referendums whenever it wants.
Laying out her case to stage a referendum next year, Ms Sturgeon said yesterday: "The mandate we have to offer the Scottish people a choice over their future is, by any normal standard of democracy, unarguable.
"We are therefore today calling for the UK Government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament's right to legislate for a referendum on independence."
But hours later Mr Johnson snubbed the request during a fiery clash in the Commons chamber.
SNP MP Alan Brown asked him: “If he really believes in the people, isn’t it right that the people of Scotland should have their say in a referendum?”
But the PM responded: “I think it was Nicola Sturgeon herself who said that the referendum in 2014 was a once in a generation event.
“I don’t know about you, Mr Speaker, but I feel that the Scottish Nationalist Party should concentrate more on delivering the domestic priorities of the people of Scotland and rather less on breaking up our United Kingdom.”

"I do not take the outcome of the Independence referendum for granted, nor do I assume that everyone who voted SNP necessarily support Independence," Ms Sturgeon said.

Ms Sturgeon's fresh pleas for a referendum come only four years after the 2014 referendum delivered a decisive victory for staying in the UK.

Despite that, she claimed "even the dogs in the street" knew there would be a second referendum.

She said even after losing the 2014 referendum, Scotland's ability to call a fresh vote could not be a "one off".

But she admitted she might not even win a second second vote if Westminster did grant her one.

"I do not take the outcome of the Independence referendum for granted, nor do I assume that everyone who voted SNP necessarily support Independence," Ms Sturgeon said.

Michael Gove ruled out a fresh attempt at Scottish independence earlier this week, saying it "absolutely" would not be happening.

Mr Johnson lashed out at Ms Sturgeon during the election campaign, saying her persistent efforts for a second referendum were "paralysing" Scotland and trapping her country like a "caged lion".

Ms Sturgeon said this morning Westminster was making the case for independence easier, the more they refused to give Scotland "self determination".

"The more a Tory government seeks to block the will of the Scottish people, the more they ensure complete and utter contempt (the Tories)... their short term strategy sows the seeds of the longer term defeat," Ms Sturgeon said, saying she would not cede "the high ground".

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