Friday 17 January 2020

'Scotland can't be held in Union against its will' - Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon (Brian Lawless/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon (Brian Lawless/PA)

Katrine Bussey

The British prime minister refusing a second independence referendum will not be "the end of the matter", Nicola Sturgeon has insisted - as she warned Boris Johnson: "Scotland cannot be imprisoned in the Union against its will."

The Scottish first minister argued that it would be a "perversion and subversion of democracy" for her to be denied the right to hold such a ballot after her party's election success. In Scotland, the SNP increased its share of the vote to 45pc, winning a greater proportion of the votes north of the border than the Tories did across the UK, and also increased its number of MPs at Westminster to 47.

In contrast, the Tories - whose campaign in Scotland was focused on opposition to a second independence referendum - lost more than half their Scottish MPs, with this number falling from 13 to six.

But after the Conservatives won a majority across the UK, Mr Johnson telephoned the SNP leader to make "clear how he remained opposed to a second independence referendum". Ms Sturgeon, however, claimed that by blocking such a ballot, the Tories were "raging against reality", as she said that "Scotland had chosen a very different kind of future to the one chosen by much of the rest of the UK".

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The first minister, who has already made clear her desire to hold a fresh independence vote in the second half of 2020, said she was going to "pursue the plan I won a mandate for".

Ms Sturgeon confirmed she would "set out this week the detailed, democratic case for the transfer of power" to Holyrood to allow for a legal referendum to take place.

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: "Another referendum next year would be incredibly divisive; it would trap Scotland in more constitutional uncertainty and is opposed by a clear majority of Scots."

Irish Independent

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