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19 Dec, 2019 09:37

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon says she will consider ‘ALL OPTIONS’ if UK govt rejects 2nd independence vote

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon says she will consider ‘ALL OPTIONS’ if UK govt rejects 2nd independence vote

Scotland’s first minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said that the UK government has a “democratic duty” to allow Scotland to vote for its independence for a second time, otherwise “all options” will be considered.

Sturgeon made her comments on Thursday, a week after Prime Minister Boris Johnson won the parliamentary election.

“The question is often posed to me: ‘what will you do if Boris Johnson says no?’ As I’ve said before, I will consider all reasonable options to secure Scotland’s right to self-determination.”

The Scottish National Party (SNP), which has long opposed Brexit, scored an impressive victory as well, winning extra seats in Parliament. Sturgeon previously said that the party’s priority is to prevent the UK from leaving the EU without a deal with Brussels – an option Johnson’s government is fine with.

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Fifty-five percent of Scottish voters chose to remain in the UK in 2014, while 44 percent voted against it. Scotland is now considering another bid for independence in case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Speaking on Thursday, Sturgeon said 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 recognize that.”

The Scottish government published a paper making the case for why a second referendum is crucial.

The officials said in the document that, unlike the rest of the UK, 62 percent of Scottish voters chose to remain in the EU. The looming Brexit continues to be “against the wishes of the people of Scotland,” they argued, and withdrawing from the EU would be “particularly damaging to Scottish interests.”

The approach of the UK Government to the process of leaving the EU has demonstrated that the views and interests of Scotland can and will be set aside, despite claims that the UK is a partnership of equals.

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Johnson has repeatedly promised that Britain will officially leave the EU on January 31 and has seized upon his recent election victory as a mandate to carry out that promise. In a statement on Thursday, the government rejected Sturgeon’s demands for a new independence referendum post-Brexit, saying it would be a “damaging distraction.”

Holding a new referendum on the issue would also undermine the result of the 2014 vote “and the promise made to the Scottish people that it was a once in a generation vote.”

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