By Tony Winterburn • 14 January 2020 • 13:30
Boris Johnson has rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s call for Holyrood to be given the power to hold a fresh vote on independence, saying in a letter to the First Minister: “I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums.”
Revealing the letter on Twitter the PM stated: “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.”
Here is the full text of the Prime Minister’s letter:
“Thank you for your correspondence of 19 December 2019.
I have carefully considered and noted the arguments set out for a
transfer of power from the UK Parliament to the Scottish parliament to allow for further independence referendums.
“You and your predecessor made a personal promise that the 2014 Independence Referendum was a ‘once in a generation’ vote. 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 the respect in the Edinburgh Agreement.
“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 Scottish schools, hospitals and jobs again left 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.”
Responding to the letter, the first minister said the response was “predictable”: “The Tories are terrified of Scotland have the right to choose our own future. They know that given the choice the overwhelming likelihood is the people will choose the positive option of independence.
“While today’s response is not surprising – indeed we anticipated it – it will not stand.”
In a speech in December following the General Election, Sturgeon had argued that the UK Government had “no mandate” to take Scotland out of the EU.
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