Nicola Sturgeon demands Boris Johnson hand over powers to call indyref2
Nicola Sturgeon has called on Boris Johnson to hand the powers to hold future independence referendums to the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish First Minister said her party's success in the general election, which saw her win 48 of the 59 Scottish seats, had made the case for a second referendum on independence "unarguable".
It comes after Mr Johnson insisted he would not allow the SNP leader to hold a second vote during his five-year term in office. Under the current system, Westminster must grant Holyrood a so-called 'Section 30' order for a re-run of the 2014 vote to gake place.
But speaking at the release of a new paper, setting out the case for a fresh poll on the issue, Ms Sturgeon said the overwhelming support for her party had given her a "democratic mandate" to demand the powers.
"The ability for Scotland to exercise that right [to self-determination] matters because the alternative is a future that we have rejected being imposed on us," she said.
"Scotland made it very clear last week it does not want a Tory government led by Boris Johnson taking us out of the European Union.
"That is the future we face if we do not have the opportunity to consider the alternative of independence."
Ms Sturgeon said she had already written to Mr Johnson requesting a Section 30 order - but went futher as she called for the power to hold referendums to be devolved permanently to Holyrood.
And she warned the Prime Minister to be "under no illusion" that she would seek other means to secure the vote if he continues to oppose the plans.
CASE FOR INDY 'YET TO BE WON'
Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon said she had further plans to set out the case for separation as she was forced to admit she had not yet won round a "clear majority" in Scotland.
"I recognise there is work we have to do to persuade a clear majority that independence is the best future for our country," she added.
“That is why in the months ahead we’ll update the detailed substantive case for Scotland becoming an independent nation.
“Of course in a referendum those who believe Scotland should stay part of the Westminster union will be able to make that case.
“I accept that the case for independence is yet to be won.”
But her comments have already come under fire from former Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, who accused the SNP leader of making the "spurious" claim that votes cast for her party in the general election were a clear sign of support for a second referendum.
Writing for PoliticsHome, Mr Mundell said: "[Ms Sturgeon] has form for this, having done the same in both 2016 and 2017.
"This time it is even more spurious, with the SNP having spent the final week of the campaign telling Scots a vote for them was not a vote for independence, but rather a vote to 'stop Brexit' or 'lock Boris out of Number 10'."
He added: "The Prime Minister has made clear he will refuse any request for a so-called Section 30 order, which is the process followed in 2014 to facilitate that referendum, and he is right to do so.
"Not only did the Conservatives in Scotland and across the UK stand on a commitment not to have one, but ahead of 2014, Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond signed the Edinburgh Agreement which said that both sides would respect the result whatever it was."