Sturgeon and Boris clash as she accuses PM of blocking ‘democracy’ with indyref2 refusal
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Nicola Sturgeon said being independent allows Scotland “the opportunity to deal with those problems in a way best suited to your needs.” Ms Sturgeon said “independence is now becoming the settled will of a majority of people across Scotland.”
The Scottish First Minister said the UK Government “pays constant lip service to the notion of equal partnership” but claims that in “almost every action it takes completely demolishes that concept.”
Mr Johnson has previously spoken out against holding a second Scottish independence referendum describing the 2014 vote – which backed Scotland remaining in the UK – as a once in a generation.
Despite this Ms Sturgeon has unveiled plans for a Bill setting out the proposed terms and timing for a second independence vote, as well as the question that could be asked, which will be put before the Scottish Parliament in advance of the Holyrood election.
After the general election in December, in which the SNP won 48 seats, Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected a request from Ms Sturgeon to grant the powers needed to hold another independence vote, and he has repeatedly said since that he will not permit one.
A poll last month put support for Scottish independence as high as 55 percent, while June and July polls registered 54 percent.
Ms Sturgeon said if a majority of MSPs are elected to Holyrood next year “back a referendum”, she stressed that “no UK Government has the right to block the will of the people”.
The First Minister made clear: “For the Tories, simply saying ‘no’ in a bid to stick roadblocks in the way of democracy isn’t even the semblance of a long-term strategy – and increasingly it seems that is being acknowledged within Westminster and Whitehall.
“Trying to hold back the tide of popular opinion in Scotland didn’t work for the Tories when they argued against devolution in the 1990s – and it won’t work now.
“Scotland must, and will, have the right to determine its own future, and when that happens I firmly believe the people will choose independence.”
Referring to Scotland’s position on Brexit, Ms Sturgeon said that a “true union of equals would not have imposed Brexit upon Scotland against the overwhelming majority of Scottish voters.”
She stressed that a “genuine partnership would not then have then ignored the efforts of the Scottish Government to effect compromise to soften the blow of leaving the world’s biggest single market.”
In the 2016 EU Referendum 62 percent of Scots voted in favour of staying in the bloc.
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Most recently a poll published by Survation in July also revealed 65 percent of Scots regret the Brexit result and 62 percent of Scots would want to rejoin the EU.
Stemming from this, a cross party eu+me campaign was created chaired by former North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins and the campaign’s director is the SNP’s former head of communications, Fergus Mutch to ensure Scotland stays in the EU.
Mr Mutch said the campaign will be a “grassroots-led force for positive change” at a crucial moment in Scotland’s relationship with Europe.
Ms Sturgeon said that we now “face the hardest of Brexits” warning that “exiting the transition period at the end of this year with either no trade deal at all, or instead what is likely to be a very bad deal – either of which threaten to be disastrous for Scotland.”
Dr Philippa Whitford MP, SNP Brexit spokesperson, said: “It beggars belief that the Tory government is willing to impose a devastating no deal Brexit on Scotland and the UK in the middle of a global pandemic and economic crisis.
“Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit plans are extremely reckless.
“The UK is heading towards a disastrous low deal or no deal outcome.
“There is no good deal on the table – all of the outcomes being considered would leave Scotland poorer and worse off; costing jobs and hitting people’s incomes and living standards at the worst possible time.”
Whitehall has been approached for comment.
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