Great Britain

Sturgeon begins bid for Scottish independence despite admitting she DOESN'T have majority

Nicola Sturgeon set out her case for a new independence referendum in Scotland despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting they won’t be allowed it. But the First Minister admitted Scottish voters might not be ready to vote on a referendum after voting for SNP in the general election. 

Speaking at Bute House, Ms Sturgeon said: "I recognise there is work we have to do to persuade a clear majority that independence is the best future for our country.

“That is why in the months ahead we’ll update the detailed substantive case for Scotland becoming an independent nation.

“Of course in a referendum those who believe Scotland should stay part of the Westminster union will be able to make that case.

“I accept that the case for independence is yet to be won.”

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Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon made a speech at Bute House (Image: BBC•GETTY)

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is a "democratic mandate" for Scots to be given a choice of staying in the UK with Boris Johnson - or becoming an independent nation.

The SNP leader and Scottish First Minister said following last week's election victory where her party took 48 of the 59 Scottish seats in Westminster, the case for having a second independence referendum was "unarguable".

She insisted: "It is a fundamental democratic principle that decisions on Scotland's constitutional future should rest with the people who live here.

"As this document lays out, the Scottish Government has a clear democratic mandate to offer people a choice on that future in an independence referendum, and the UK Government has a democratic duty to recognise that. Last week's general election has only strengthened that mandate."

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is a "democratic mandate" for Scots (Image: BBC)

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon (Image: GETTY)

The SNP won 47 of the 59 seats up for grabs in Scotland, the party's second-best ever result.

Meanwhile the Tories, whose campaign had focused on opposition to an independence referendum, saw their share of the vote slip in Scotland, losing more than half their seats.

In the wake of that, Ms Sturgeon said she was "publishing the constitutional and democratic case" for a referendum.

She said this was "rooted in the principle of self-determination, in the material change of circumstances since the 2014 exercise of that right, and in the democratic mandate that exists for offering the choice afresh".

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Brexit

Brexit votes (Image: EXPRESS)

She added: "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.

"Together with the constitutional and democratic case for that transfer of power, we are also publishing the draft legislation that would give effect to it."

She conceded she expected the response from Westminster would be a "restatement of the UK Government's opposition".

But she continued: "They should be under no illusion that this will be an end of the matter.

"In this context, the question is often posed to me - 'what will you do if the Prime Minister says no?' But the document we are publishing today turns the question on its head.

"It is for the Prime Minister to defend why he believes the UK is not a voluntary union of equal nations. It is for him to set out why he does not believe people in Scotland have the right to self-determination.”