Boris Johnson formally rejects Nicola Sturgeon’s indyref2 demand

Posted On: 
14th January 2020

Boris Johnson has formally rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Boris Johnson has rebuffed Nicola Sturgeon's call for Scotland to hold another independence referendum
PA Images

In a letter to the First Minister he said the prospect of "indyref2" would “continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade”.

Scots voted 55% to 45% to stay in the United Kingdom at the time of the last referendum in 2014.

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But Ms Sturgeon wrote to the Prime Minister in the wake of the general election, in which the SNP made sweeping gains, demanding that the Scottish Parliament be given the powers to hold another vote.

In his response, the PM said the SNP leader and her predecessor Alex Salmond "made a personal promise that the 2014 referendum was a ‘once in a generation’ vote".

He added: “The UK Government will continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise that you made to them.

“For that reason, I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums.

"Another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade, with schools, hospital and jobs again behind because of a campaign to separate the UK.

“It is time that we all worked to bring the whole of the United Kingdom together and unleash the potential of this great country.”

On Twitter, the PM said: "Today I have written to Nicola Sturgeon. The Scottish people voted decisively to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK Governments committed to respect.

"Let's make 2020 a year of growth and opportunity for the whole of the UK."

Ms Sturgeon hit back on Twitter, saying: “Tories are terrified of Scotland’s right to choose - because they know that when given the choice we’ll choose independence.

“Tories have no positive case for the union - so all they can do is attempt to deny democracy. It will not stand.”

She added: “The problem for the Tories is the longer they try to block democracy, the more they show the Westminster union is not one of equals and fuel support for independence.

“This response predictable - but also unsustainable and self-defeating. Scotland will have the right to choose.

“The Scottish Government ill set out our response and next steps before the end of this month - when we will also again ask the Scottish Parliament to back Scotland’s right to choose our own future.”