Boris Johnson sends letter to Nicola Sturgeon - rejects second independence vote

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2020

"But I can understand Sturgeon's position - she wants to play a waiting game".

Ms Sturgeon said on Tuesday: "Tories are terrified of Scotland's right to choose - because they know that when given the choice we'll choose independence".

The UK Prime Minister reminded Sturgeon she had agreed that the 2014 referendum, when Scots opted to remain in the United Kingdom, would be a "once in a generation" vote.

As things stand, a referendum can not take place without the consent of the United Kingdom government.

Mr Johnson said he can not agree to a transfer of power leading to further independence referendums after Ms Sturgeon asked for this responsibility to be permanently devolved.

However, Johnson has now written to Sturgeon officially refusing her request for powers over referendums to be transferred to Holyrood.


Johnson said in his letter that the UK Government would uphold the "democratic decision" made by the Scottish people in 2014.

The renewed push for Scottish independence was a key policy for the SNP at last year's general election.

"It shows utter contempt for the votes, views and interests of the people of Scotland and it is a strategy that is doomed to failure".

At the time, Sturgeon said there was an "unarguable mandate" following the SNP's election success.

Boris Johnson's stalemate with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon now threatens to damage his leadership, analysts say.

"(But Johnson is) going to be firmly against the idea of Scottish independence because it has a chance of succeeding.


Curtis said the future of the stalled independence talks now resides nearly entirely on next year's Scottish election.

But even that route to securing another plebiscite on Scottish sovereignty looks forlorn after the Conservative Party Scottish Secretary at Westminster, Alister Jack, said on Sunday that victory for the SNP in the Scottish elections would not give the party a mandate to hold a second independence poll.

Harvie commented: "In 2014 the all-party Smith Commission accepted that nothing prevented Scotland becoming an independent country if the people of Scotland chose that path".

She said the Scottish Government would set out its response and the next steps it will take before the end of January - adding she would also ask MSPs at Holyrood to "back Scotland's right to choose our own future".

"The Westminster union can not be sustained without consent".


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