LONDON – United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected SNP (Scottish National Party) leader Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a second Scottish independence referendum, claiming it “would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade”.
Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland, is on record as saying that she wants to hold a second referendum later this year, believing that she has a mandate following the 2019 general election which saw her party win 48 of the 59 seats in Scotland, RT reported.
However, in a letter to Sturgeon, published on social media on Tuesday, Johnson contended that she and her predecessor promised that the 2014 independence referendum would be a “once in a generation vote”.
“…another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade,” he stated.
Johnson went on to insist that the UK government would “continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise you [Sturgeon] made to them”. Sturgeon made a formal request last month for the UK government to transfer powers to the devolved Scottish Parliament that would ensure any second referendum was legal.
She argues that a second independence referendum is justified due to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, which represents a “material change” in the relationship between Scotland and the UK. In the aftermath of the SNP’s impressive showing in the general election in December, Sturgeon reaffirmed her desire for Scotland to break away from the union.
“People in Scotland have made it very clear they didn’t want Boris Johnson as prime minister and the don’t want Brexit, and they want Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands,” she noted.