Boris Johnson Rejects Sturgeon's Request for Scottish Independence Referendum Powers

Clay Curtis
January 14, 2020

Nicola Sturgeon made a formal request last month for the United Kingdom government to transfer powers to the devolved Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh that would ensure any referendum is legal.

Ms Sturgeon responded on Twitter: "Tories are terrified of Scotland's right to choose - because they know that when given the choice we'll choose independence". We can take our place as an equal partner with our closest friends in the rest of the United Kingdom and across Europe.

In a brief, six-paragraph response, the Prime Minister said he would "continue to uphold the democratic decision" of the Scottish people to remain in the UK.

Writing to the head of the SNP, he said: "I can not accept any request for a transfer of power which would lead to new referendums on independence".

He also pointed to the 2014 referendum, in which Scotland voted by 55% to not be an independent country, saying Ms Sturgeon "made a personal promise" it would be "once-in-a-generation" vote. The SNP will be hoping to secure a majority or at least return a pro-independence majority combined with the independence-supporting Scottish Green Party.

"The problem for the Conservatives is that the more they try to block democracy, the more they show that the union of Westminster is not one of the equals and feeds support for independence".

Tories have no positive case for the union - so all they can do is attempt to deny democracy.

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"The question is often posed to me: "what will you do if Boris Johnson says no?"

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

Environmental groups and Citizens Advice Scotland have called on ministers to double their investment in zero-carbon homes following a survey finding that 15% of small businesses say they have not been able to implement measures to reduce their carbon footprint.

"You've got the politician with the biggest mandate north of the border going up against the politician with the biggest mandate south of the border".

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".

In an official statement issued later, Ms Sturgeon added "the Westminster union can not be sustained without consent" and that "democracy will prevail".

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