Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

Nicola Sturgeon 'not asking permission' to hold Scottish referendum

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted her party’s ‘watershed’ success in the General Election shows that Scotland wants a different future to the rest of the UK.

Speaking on Friday morning at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, Scotland’s First Minister vowed she would push one again for an independence referendum saying it’s now a ‘democratic right’.

The SNP leader also issued a stark warning ‘directly’ to Boris Johnson, saying she would stand firm against what she predicts will be a ‘deeply damaging Tory government’.

She said: ‘Scotland has rejected Boris Johnson and the Tories and, yet again, we have said no to Brexit’.

Ms Sturgeon’s party won huge gains in the polls by winning 47 of Scotland’s 59 seats and was elated last night when her MP Amy Calaghan unseated Lib Dems leader Jo Swinson.

The Conservatives lost more than half the seats they had held north of the border and Ms Sturgeon said their ‘stunning’ result ‘renews, reinforces and strengthens’ the mandate for a fresh vote on independence.

She said the result result showed the ‘kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is different to that chosen by the rest of the UK’.

The SNP leader said: ‘This is not about asking Boris Johnson or any other Westminster politician for permission.

‘It is an assertion of the democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future.’

Ms Sturgeon confirmed she will formally request the powers for Holyrood to hold a ballot, adding that the Scottish Government would ‘publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge’.

Mr Johnson has already made clear he is not prepared to grant a section 30 order – which would transfer the power to Holyrood to hold a referendum.

Speaking of her concerns over a Boris Johnson premiership, Ms Sturgeon vowed to stand firm in ‘the defence of our national health service’ and warned the ‘ultra-Brexit Tory ideology threatens a race to the bottom’.

She listed concerns over the environment and food standards, before telling telling European citizens she would ‘fight with everything I have to protect your right to call Scotland your home’.

The First Minister issues a final warning to Mr Johnson: ‘Let me be clear. This is not simply a demand that I or the SNP are making.

‘It is the right of the people of Scotland – and you as the leader of a defeated party in Scotland have no right to stand in the way.’

With Scotland having voted to stay part of the European Union in 2016, the First Minister claimed ‘Westminster has ignored people in Scotland for three years’.

Ms Sturgeon told the Prime Minister is was time to ‘start listening’.

She said she accepted ‘regretfully’ Mr Johnson had a mandate for Brexit in England but added: ‘He has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the EU.’

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