Published: Tue, January 14, 2020

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

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

"But I can understand Sturgeon's position - she wants to play a waiting game".

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday refusing her request to be given the powers to hold another Scottish independence referendum. "The people of Scotland voted decisively on that promise to keep our United Kingdom together", he said in the letter today.

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. We can take our place as an equal partner with our closest friends in the rest of the United Kingdom and across Europe.

The PM said: 'The UK Government will continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise that you made to them. 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.

Nicola Sturgeon's pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) won 48 of Scotland's 59 parliamentary seats in December's UK-wide election, which she contends showed overwhelming support for her agenda to bring about such a plebiscite.

Buoyed by his success in last month's UK-wide general election which saw him win a majority in Parliament, Conservative leader Johnson rebuffed Sturgeon's demands as he now looks ahead to Britain's withdrawal from the European Union - otherwise known as Brexit - on January 31.

Boris Johnson's stalemate with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon now threatens to damage his leadership, analysts say.

In his letter to the head of the SNP, Mr Johnson said that he had "carefully examined" the case she had presented for the transfer of powers to Holyrood which would allow her to hold a vote on the future of Scotland.

Sturgeon said the Scottish government would set out its response and next steps by the end of the month, "when we will also ask the Scottish parliament to again endorse Scotland's right to choose".

"If the SNP end up doing very well in those elections - getting a large majority - I think it becomes very hard (for Johnson) when effectively the Scottish people have voted for a party who have said, "if you vote for us we'll demand an independence referendum", he said.

"The Westminster union can not be sustained without consent".

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