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Scottish independence referendum has 'never been more urgent', says Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon wants Boris Johnson to transfer the power to hold this referendum to the Scottish parliament.

Nicola Sturgeon today.
Nicola Sturgeon today.
Image: Jane Barlow

Updated Dec 13th 2019, 8:02 PM

NICOLA STURGEON HAS said the Scottish government will be publishing a “detailed democratic case” to transfer the power from Westminster to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. 

The First Minister of Scotland said she has been “clear” that holding another referendum on this issue should be the responsibility of the Scottish parliament, not Westminster. 

“It is the democratic right of Scotland to determine our own future,” she said today. 

Sturgeon said the “detailed democratic case to transfer power” will be published next week by the government.  

She said this referendum has “never been more important or more urgent” following the results of the UK election.  

It is “not simply a demand… it is the right of the people of Scotland”, she said, adding that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “no right to stand in the way”. 

“The people of Scotland have spoken it is time now to decide our own future.” 

This evening, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated his opposition to a second vote on Scottish independence during a call with Nicola Sturgeon. 

Johnson said the result of the original vote five years ago “should be respected”.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon earlier this evening, where he reiterated his unwavering commitment to strengthening the union.

“On Brexit, the Prime Minister said that he is now in a position to get this done in a way that allows the whole of the UK to move forward together, providing certainty for Scottish businesses and improving the lives of people right across Scotland.

“The Prime Minister made clear how he remained opposed to a second independence referendum, standing with the majority of people in Scotland who do not want to return to division and uncertainty.

“He added how the result of the 2014 referendum was decisive and should be respected.”

In a prompt response on social media, Sturgeon tweeted: “And I made clear that @theSNP mandate to give people a choice must be respected – just as he expects his mandate to be respected.”

Tweet by @Nicola Sturgeon Source: Nicola Sturgeon/Twitter

Johnson has previously stated he is not prepared to grant a Section 30 order – which would transfer the power to Holyrood to hold a referendum.

The SNP increased its tally of MPs to 48 as the Conservatives lost more than half the seats they had held north of the border.

The Conservatives were left with six MPs in Scotland, after having won 13 seats two years previously, in what Sturgeon called a “crushing defeat in Scotland”.

The First Minister also said: “It is clear that the kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is different to that chosen by the rest of the UK.

“Scotland has rejected Boris Johnson and the Tories and, yet again, we have said no to Brexit.”

Sturgeon’s SNP won 45% of the vote in Scotland – a slightly higher amount than the 43.6% of the vote Mr Johnson’s Tories secured across the UK.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of the pro-UK campaign group Scotland in Union, said: “This election result is not a mandate for a divisive second independence referendum.

“Despite the seats won, a majority of people in Scotland, 54%, voted for pro-UK parties.”

With reporting by Press Association

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