Scottish National Party leader Nicolas Sturgeon yesterday said her party’s strong performance in the election reinforced her case for holding a fresh Scottish independence referendum.
“The stunning election win for the SNP renews, reinforces and strengthens the mandate we have from previous elections to offer the people of Scotland a choice over their future,” she said after the SNP picked up 48 out of Scotland’s 59 seats contested in the election.
The first Scotland independence referendum failed in 2014, when 55% voted in favour of preserving its membership in the United Kingdom.
But Scotland opposed Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in the 2016 referendum, which looks almost certain after the win for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.
Sturgeon said Thursday’s outcome gave Johnson a mandate to take England out of the European Union, but not Scotland.
“Given the verdict of the people of Scotland, the Scottish government will next week offer a detailed, democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum,” she said.
“This is not about asking (Prime Minister) Boris Johnson or any other Westminster politician for permission,” Sturgeon said.
“It is an assertion of the democratic right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future,” she added.
Sturgeon reminded the Tory leader that he is “the leader of a defeated party in Scotland,” where the number of Conservative seats more than halved: from 13 following the 2017 election to just six.
“It is now clear beyond any doubt that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland want to remain in the European Union,” Sturgeon said.
“I don’t pretend that every single person who voted SNP will necessarily support independence, but there has been a strong endorsement in this election of Scotland having a choice over our future; of not having to put up with a Conservative government we didn’t vote for and not having to accept life as a nation outside the EU,” she added.
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