LONDON (AA) –The sooner Scotland has independence, “the better for all of us,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Monday, reigniting the debate on her country’s separation from the rest of the UK.
Sturgeon’s remarks to Sky News today followed her comment last weekend that she wanted another independence vote “in the early part of the next term of the Scottish parliament rather than the later part.”
Under current law, Scotland needs approval from the British parliament to hold an independence referendum.
Speaking to the BBC, she declared it not legitimate or acceptable for Prime Minister Boris Johnson “to say that it’s not for the Scottish people to decide.”
In 2014 Scottish voters rejected independence from the UK, 55-45%.
Johnson has called that vote a decisive, once-in-a-generation event, ruling out Westminster’s permission for a second one.
Sturgeon has argued that the central UK government in London failed to include devolved governments in Brexit negotiations and that her position on independence got confirmation from Scottish voters in the most recent general elections in 2019, as her Scottish National Party (SNP) won 48 of the 59 seats in the Scottish parliament.
In a 2016 referendum, though overall the country voted for Brexit, 62% of Scottish voters voted to remain in the European Union.
Since the EU vote, Sturgeon has repeatedly said that “Scotland would not be dragged out of the EU against our will.”
Scotland is “now a nation on the brink of making history,” Sturgeon declared at an SNP conference held virtually. She insisted the country has the “right” to choose their own future in a second independence referendum.
“Independence is in clear sight – and if we show unity of purpose, humility, and hard work, I have never been so certain that we will deliver it,” she added.
“I think as we rebuild from COVID it’s really important that we have all of the tools and the powers to do that properly and that the country we’re rebuilding is the one that a majority of Scots want to see, not one in the image of Boris Johnson and his band of Brexiteers.”