Boris Johnson rejects Sturgeon’s request for second Scottish referendum

The UK government has formally rejected a call from Scotland’s first minister for a second independence referendum.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a referendum would “continue the political stagnation Scotland has seen for the past decade”. 

And he said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had previously pledged that the 2014 referendum would be a “once in a generation” vote.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted that the Tories were attempting to “deny democracy”. 

She said Mr Johnson’s formal refusal of her request for a referendum to be held later this year was “predictable but also unsustainable and self defeating”, and insisted that “Scotland will have the right to choose”. 

The first minister also said the Scottish government would set out its response and “next steps” before the end of the month, and that the devolved Scottish Parliament would again be asked to “back Scotland’s right to choose our own future”.

Scottish voters backed remaining in the UK by 55% to 45% in the referendum in 2014.

Ms Sturgeon says she wants to hold another vote on independence, and made a formal request last month for the UK government to transfer powers – known as a Section 30 order – to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh that would ensure any referendum is legal.

The prime minister said:”The people of Scotland voted decisively on that promise to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK governments committed to respect in the Edinburgh Agreement.”

Mr Johnson said the UK government would “continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise you made to them”. 

And he said he did not want to see Scotland’s schools, hospitals and employment “again left behind because of a campaign to separate the UK”. 

The prime minister added: “For that reason, I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums”.

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