John­son’s no will help indy cause says First Min­is­ter

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY STE­WART PATER­SON PO­LIT­I­CAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NICOLA Stur­geon said there will be an­other ref­er­en­dum on in­de­pen­dence, de­spite Boris John­son re­fus­ing the re­quest for pow­ers to hold one.

The Prime Min­is­ter sent a let­ter to Ms Stur­geon re­spond­ing to the First Min­is­ter’s re­quest for a Sec­tion 30 Or­der nec­es­sary to hold a ref­er­en­dum.

In the let­ter Mr John­son said he would not be grant­ing the pow­ers as the 2014 was promised to be a once in a gen­er­a­tion vote and the peo­ple of Scot­land made their de­ci­sion.

Ms Stur­geon how­ever, said it was the re­sponse she an­tic­i­pated but that it was not sus­tain­able and would only in­crease sup­port for in­de­pen­dence.

Mr John­son told the First Min­is­ter the 2014 vote was promised by her and then First Min­is­ter, Alex Sal­mond, to be a “once in a gen­er­a­tion vote”.

He said: “The peo­ple of Scot­land voted de­ci­sively on that prom­ise to keep our United King­dom to­gether.”

He added both Scot­tish and UK Gov­ern­ments agreed to abide by the re­sult in the Ed­in­burgh agree­ment.

Ms Stur­geon had said she wanted the Sec­tion 30 pow­ers trans­ferred to The Scot­tish Par­lia­ment to hold a ref­er­en­dum this year.

She has said that the United King­dom that peo­ple voted to re­main within no longer ex­ists as stay­ing in the Euro­pean Union was a key ar­gu­ment of the No cam­paign.

Now that Scot­land is to be taken out of the EU de­spite an over­whelm­ing vote to re­main the peo­ple de­serve the right to de­cide again if they wish to re­main in the UK.

Ms Stur­geon said the Tories were “ter­ri­fied” of a vote be­cause she said they know Scot­land will vote for in­de­pen­dence.

She said: “She said that the re­fusal will in­crease peo­ple’s de­ter­mi­na­tion for Scot­land to de­cide whether it wants to re­main in the UK or be­come in­de­pen­dence.

The First Min­is­ter added: “It is not po­lit­i­cally sus­tain­able for any West­min­ster govern­ment to stand in the way of the right of the peo­ple of Scot­land to de­cide their own fu­ture and to seek to block the clear demo­cratic man­date for an in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.”

She added: “The longer they try to block a ref­er­en­dum, the more they demon­strate that the West­min­ster union is not a part­ner­ship of equals and the more sup­port for in­de­pen­dence will grow.

“As well as be­ing un­sus­tain­able, the po­si­tion set out to­day by the UK govern­ment is also an en­tirely self-de­feat­ing one.”

Ms Stur­geon said the Scot­tish Govern­ment would set out its of­fi­cial re­sponse later this month, adding: “One thing, though, is clear, the peo­ple of Scot­land will get the right to de­cide our own fu­ture in an in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.”

Mean­while, Labour said the re­fusal will not set­tle the is­sue.

Scot­tish Labour leader Richard Leonard, said: “I have long ar­gued that the fu­ture of Scot­land will be won and lost in Scot­land, and not on the banks of the river Thames.

“Boris John­son’s de­ci­sion to block a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum in per­pe­tu­ity does not change this. And it is spec­tac­u­lar naively to think this will close the is­sue down.

“It will only in­flame the de­bate, as Boris John­son’s his­tory of dem­a­goguery and di­vi­sion shows he is well prac­tised in do­ing.”

Nicola Stur­geon said the Tories were ‘ter­ri­fied’ of a vote

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