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Scotland ‘cannot be imprisoned’ in UK, says SNP leader

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that Scotland cannot be “imprisoned in the UK against its will,” regardless of comments by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he would not allow another referendum on Scottish independence. 

“I don’t presume everyone who voted SNP on Thursday is yet prepared to back independence, but it’s not for me to decide that question, it’s not for Boris Johnson to decide, it’s for the people of Scotland,” said Sturgeon in an interview on Sunday. 

After a resounding victory in Thursday’s British parliamentary elections, Johnson told Sturgeon that he would not allow a second referendum in Scotland, arguing that the 2014 vote against independence, 55% won by the unionists, counted for a whole generation.

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“The risk for the Conservatives here is that the more they try to block the will of the Scottish people, the more utter contempt they show for Scottish democracy, the more they are going to increase support for independence,” Sturgeon – leader of the Scottish National Party – explained. 

Sturgeon has promised that she would return to the issue this week, advocating a transfer of powers that would allow the Scots to decide for themselves whether they want to hold a referendum, which is currently left to London’s discretion. She additionally doubled down on her pledge not to hold an ‘illegal vote’ similar to the one held on Catalan independence.

“You cannot just lock us in a cupboard and turn the key and hope everything goes away,” said Sturgeon. “If Boris Johnson is confident in the case for the union then he should be confident enough to make that case and allow the people to decide. Scotland cannot be imprisoned in the UK against its will,” she added.

In the Brexit referendum in 2016, 62% of Scots voted against it, while Britain voted 52% overall in favour of a “yes” vote – leading to the popular mantra that Scotland voted remain.

Jules Johnston
The Brussel Times

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