Scottish National Party promises independence referendum after election win

The results of Thursday’s vote put the issue firmly on the table and set the stage for a clash with London.

In her victory speech, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her Scottish National Party (SNP) – which wants to secede from the UK – had won a “historic and extraordinary” victory after finishing with 64 seats in the Scottish parliament , one less than a majority.

Combined with the eight seats won by the Scottish Greens, the pro-independence parties now control 72 of the 129 seats in parliament. The Conservative party won 31 seats, Labor 22 and the Liberal Democrats four seats.

Sturgeon said that although his priority is to “lead Scotland through the pandemic and keep people safe”, his party still intends to ask for a second referendum on whether to end the pandemic. country’s 300-year-old union with England.

Sturgeon also warned that “any Westminster politician” who tries to block a referendum is “not fighting with the SNP, you are fighting with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people“.

The comments are likely directed at British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose permission is needed to hold a referendum in Scotland. He has so far refused a second vote, saying a 2014 referendum – in which Scots voted to stay in the UK – was a once-in-a-generation event.

“I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless,” Johnson told The Daily Telegraph on Friday.

On Sunday, one of Johnson’s top Cabinet ministers repeatedly avoided answering questions about how the government would handle a second independence referendum.

Asked on Sky News whether the government would go to the Supreme Court if the Scottish parliament passes a bill to hold a referendum, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said “we’re not going to go there”.

Johnson invited Sturgeon to join a UK-wide Covid recovery summit and, in a letter, said the UK was “best served when we work together”.

“We will all have our own perspectives and ideas – and we won’t always agree – but I am confident that by learning from each other, we can build back better, for the benefit of the people we serve” , Johnson said. wrote.

The prospect of a second independence referendum has been on the cards since the 2016 Brexit referendum, when 62% of Scots voted to remain in the European Union.

Speaking on BBC’s ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ on Sunday, Sturgeon again insisted that voter support for his party – which won a fourth consecutive victory – gave him a clear mandate to hold a referendum .

“In this election they voted overwhelmingly for the SNP and we stood on a manifesto of commitment to firstly… continue to lead the country through the Covid pandemic, but after the crisis to give the people Scottish people the chance to choose their own future in a referendum,” she said.

“The fact that we are sitting here debating whether or not this outcome will be respected speaks volumes about the disrespect for Scottish democracy that this UK government has shown for some time now.”