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Mon, 28 September 2020

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Nicola Sturgeon launches fresh demand for power to trigger Scottish independence referendum

Nicola Sturgeon launches fresh demand for power to trigger Scottish independence referendum
3 min read

Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to make an "unarguable" case for a fresh referendum on Scottish independence in the wake of the general election.

The SNP leader and Scottish first minister will on Thursday launch a renewed push for a so-called Section 30 order, the transfer of powers from Westminster to Holyrood that is needed to call a referendum.

Launching a new paper called Scotland's Right to Choose, Ms Sturgeon will claim that the SNP's strong showing in last week's general election combined with the pro-Brexit Conservatives' dominance in England boosts the case for a re-run of the 2014 Scotland poll.

The SNP won 47 out of the 59 Scottish Westminster seats up for grabs, and Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to push for a "legitimate" vote on independence.

Ms Sturgeon said: "There is a clear mandate for this nation to have the power to decide its own future.

"The result of last week's General Election makes that mandate unarguable.

"So, with the publication of this document, we lay out the detailed case for putting Scotland's future into Scotland's hands."

She added: "We will take forward work to update the detailed and substantive case for independence.

"But whatever people's views on the issue of independence itself, there is a wide and growing consensus that Scotland must be able to choose its own future.

"Now that the election is over, and the result so overwhelmingly clear, I believe that consensus is growing by the day.

"And let me be clear, the demand for this country to have the right to determine its own path comes not just from me as First Minister - it flows from the people of Scotland and the verdict they delivered last week."

The Scottish First Minister said she would demand the powers to ensure any referendum was "free from the threat of legal challenge".

"We understand that a referendum must be accepted as legitimate, here in Scotland and the UK, as well as in the EU and the wider international community," Ms Sturgeon added.

The UK government remains staunchly opposed to allowing a second referendum to go ahead, arguing that the 2014 result - in which voters backed staying in the Union by 55% to 45% - still stands.

Speaking this weekend, Cabinet minister Michael Gove once again ruled out a fresh vote, arguing that Scotland is "stronger in the United Kingdom".

He added: "We were told in 2014 that that would be a choice for a generation. We're not going to have an independence referendum in Scotland."

The launch of the new paper from the Scottish government comes as the Scottish Parliament prepares to pass legislation that could help to pave the way for a new poll.

The Referendums (Scotland) Bill, introduced by the Scottish government and backed by the SNP and Scottish Greens, would give the Scottish Parliament the power to call referendums - although the UK Parliament would be under no obligation to acknowledge the result. 


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