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14 Jan, 2020 11:15

London rejects Scotland’s request for second independence referendum

London rejects Scotland’s request for second independence referendum

PM Boris Johnson has rejected SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a second Scottish independence referendum, claiming it “would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade.”

Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, is on record as saying that she wants to hold a second referendum later this year, believing that she has a mandate following the 2019 general election which saw her party win 48 of the 59 seats in Scotland.However, in a letter to Sturgeon, published on social media on Tuesday, Johnson contended that she and her predecessor promised that the 2014 independence referendum would be a “once in a generation vote.”

...another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade

Johnson went on to insist that the UK government would “continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise you [Sturgeon] made to them.”

There’s clear support within Scotland for independence and Westminster “ought to agree to at least a time table to have a second referendum,” journalist Neil Clark told RT.

He said that far from putting a stop to the SNP’s plans, Johnson’s refusal has galvanized more radical elements within the Scottish independence movement. Clark noted that Sturgeon will be urged by her own party to hold a vote without London’s blessing – even though she has voiced opposition to such a move.

Sturgeon will be coming under increasing pressure now to do a ‘Catalonia’. More and more people in the SNP will be saying look, why don’t we just hold a referendum ourselves, why don’t we do what Catalonia did? Why do we need permission from London?

Sturgeon’s best course of action now would be to characterize Johnson’s decision as further evidence that London does not “respect” Scotland, Mark Garnett, senior lecturer at the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University, told RT.

The rejection can be used as a “weapon” by the SNP to drum up support for independence, Garnett explained, adding that Sturgeon will likely wait for favorable polling numbers before pursuing a second referendum.

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Sturgeon made a formal request last month for the UK government to transfer powers to the devolved Scottish Parliament that would ensure any second referendum was legal.

She argues that a second independence referendum is justified due to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, which represents a “material change” in the relationship between Scotland and the UK.

In the aftermath of the SNP’s impressive showing in the general election in December, Sturgeon reaffirmed her desire for Scotland to break away from the union.

People in Scotland have made it very clear they didn’t want Boris Johnson as prime minister and the don’t want Brexit, and they want Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

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