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Scottish nationalists vow independence vote after election win

ForexMay 09, 2021 09:01
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3/3 © Reuters. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives at Glasgow counting centre in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain May 7, 2021. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS 2/3

By Russell Cheyne

GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) -Pro-independence parties won a majority in Scotland's parliament on Saturday, paving the way to a high-stakes political, legal and constitutional battle with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the future of the United Kingdom.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the result meant she would push ahead with plans for a second independence referendum once the COVID-19 pandemic was over, adding that it would be absurd and outrageous if Johnson were to try to ignore the democratic will of the people.

"There is simply no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson, or indeed for anyone else, seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our own future," Sturgeon said.

"It is the will of the country," she added after her Scottish National Party (SNP) was returned for a fourth consecutive term in office.

The British government argues Johnson must give approval for any referendum and he has repeatedly made clear he would refuse. He has said it would be irresponsible to hold one now, pointing out that Scots had backed staying in the United Kingdom in a "once in a generation" poll in 2014.

The election outcome is likely to be a bitter clash between the Scottish government in Edinburgh and Johnson's United Kingdom-wide administration in London, with Scotland's 314-year union with England and Wales at stake.

The nationalists argue that they have democratic authority on their side; the British government say the law is with them. It is likely the final decision on a referendum will be settled in the courts.

'IRRESPONSIBLE AND RECKLESS'

"I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless," Johnson told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Alister Jack, the UK government's Scotland minister, said dealing with the coronavirus crisis and the vaccine rollout should be the priority.

"We must not allow ourselves to be distracted - COVID recovery must be the sole priority of Scotland’s two governments," he said.

The SNP had been hopeful of winning an outright majority which would have strengthened their call for a secession vote but they looked set to fall one seat short of the 65 required in the 129-seat Scottish parliament, partly because of an electoral system that helps smaller parties.

Pro-union supporters argue that the SNP's failure to get a majority has made it easier for Johnson to rebut their argument that they have a mandate for a referendum.

However, the Scottish Greens, who have promised to support a referendum, picked up eight seats, meaning overall there will be a comfortable pro-independence majority in the Scottish assembly.

Scottish politics has been diverging from other parts of the United Kingdom for some time, but Scots remain divided over holding another independence plebiscite.

However, Britain's exit from the European Union - opposed by a majority of Scots - as well as a perception that Sturgeon's government has handled the COVID-19 crisis well, along with antipathy to Johnson's Conservative government in London, have all bolstered support for the independence movement.

Scots voted by 55%-45% in 2014 to remain part of the United Kingdom, and polls suggest a second referendum would be too close to call.

Sturgeon said her first task was dealing with the pandemic and the SNP has indicated that a referendum is unlikely until 2023. But she said any legal challenge by Johnson's government to a vote would show a total disregard for Scottish democracy.

"The absurdity and outrageous nature of a Westminster government potentially going to court to overturn Scottish democracy, I can't think of a more colourful argument for Scottish independence than that myself," she said.

Scottish nationalists vow independence vote after election win
 

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Comments (17)
ian Chamberlain
ian Chamberlain May 09, 2021 13:08
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aren't we all "British"???????? alternatively I could consider my self yorkshire, get even more stupid and narrow it to the city, or town or village or why not just street. Britain is not that big.....smaller than France or Germany and you don't see people In the south of their countries coming up with stupid arguments that the capital is too far way......or take Russia, the biggest country in the world where people are 6 time zones from Moscow........get a grip!
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 09, 2021 11:46
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75% of votes in Scotland have been cast for the SNP and independence. Do the English not believe in democracy anymore?! If not - what are they? Authoritarian - also wanting peaceful protest to be an arrestable offence. An authoritarian, undemocratic police state? Look at yourselves and what you’ve become. Shame on you.
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 09, 2021 11:40
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All the English nationalists who were giving a hard sell on independence advantages - self governance, strike own trade deals etc on Brexit - all showing great hipocrisy now. They want the equivalent of them not being able to have a vote on Brexit... double standards. Democracy needs regular votes as public opinion can change. Boris stopped a second Brexit vote - as he knew he’d lose. Now sticking his fat nose into Scotland’s business. This is the man who wrote hateful poems about Scotland - google it. Boris is an undemocratic backward looking english fascist. End of.
Julie Morrison
Julie Morrison May 09, 2021 10:34
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wont be true independence, the referendum should be do scotland want to be part of UK or part of EU?
ian Chamberlain
ian Chamberlain May 09, 2021 10:34
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why would a Scott want to b part of Europe, but not part of great Britain......why are Scotland so racist towards the English?ask someone born in England what their nationality is and 90% will say British. I grew up not realising Britain was made up of separate countries, I have always though of myself as British
Rajeev Sharma
Rajeev Sharma May 09, 2021 9:23
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what effect in gbp if snp wins
ian Chamberlain
ian Chamberlain May 09, 2021 0:54
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what's Scotland idea of a future......split from the United Kingdom and join a bigger union called the EU, which is set up to favour the French and Germans at the expense of other nations. at least Brexit has a chance of improving the long term future of the UK. Aligning with the EU is only going to align with mediocrity not transform our country. Trying something different has a chance of greatness, but also a chance of failure......but at least we tried. what's Scotland going to do that is so transformational?
David Nicholson
David Nicholson May 09, 2021 0:54
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Also how great was the EU at allowing the vaccine to be distributed. Where would Scotland have come in the list for distribution of such vaccine if under the EU banner, bet close to the back of the queue, is my guess.
Puk Pups
Puk Pups May 08, 2021 23:14
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Scots voted in 2014 to remain part of the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 when it was in European Union 🇪🇺 . Now different situation and Scottish people should vote 🗳 again. They deserve to be independent. I think even Welsh people have to do their own referendum. English people suppose to leave alone as they are above all nations and unions, let them freedom.
Beebs Elite
Beebs Elite May 08, 2021 23:14
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Such an ignorant, basically deluded, response.
ian Chamberlain
ian Chamberlain May 08, 2021 23:14
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agreed......the whole argument of "we want independence and in the same breath "we want to be part of the EU" is just a joke. independence is just power for a few Scots, not the nation.......just like brexit was
David Nicholson
David Nicholson May 08, 2021 23:14
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Maybe UK should kick Scotland out of the union as they ask. Do it tomorrow, and can the uk have any monies owed returned. oh dear, what currency will that be in I wonder. Not the pound as they want to be independent.
Drake Richards
Drake Richards May 08, 2021 23:14
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What has Scotland got that Europe wants ? Fried Mars Bars ?
Mark Olive
magicpiano May 08, 2021 23:12
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A Scottish independence vote should include the English and Welsh as well. It is a vote to breakup the United Kingdom and all the electorate needs to have a voice not just the Scots.
Pedro Gonzalez
Pedro Gonzalez May 08, 2021 18:55
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The SNP could pass a law at Holyrood to overturn the law of gravity but things would still fall down.It's the same with a referendum. It is not within their powers.
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 08, 2021 18:55
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England can’t stand on her own two feet. Finished empire lol
Gareth weekes
Gareth weekes May 08, 2021 18:55
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The vote has only been carried out by the Scottish mate
Beebs Elite
Beebs Elite May 08, 2021 18:55
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Peter Lewis england cant stand on its own two feet with a $2 trillion + economy? Sounds like you need to go back to school.
Giles Haywood Smith
Giles Haywood Smith May 08, 2021 18:55
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the only reason scotland is part of the UK os because it cant stand on its own two feet
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 08, 2021 18:48
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Can England survive without Scotland??
Puk Pups
Puk Pups May 08, 2021 18:48
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Boris Johnson saying no as he refusing Scottish referendum ! It is obvious and very clear.
Giles Haywood Smith
Giles Haywood Smith May 08, 2021 18:48
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Well we’ll save a lot of money thats for sure
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 08, 2021 18:47
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England CANNOT stand on it’s own two feet. What a joke of a country.
Gareth weekes
Gareth weekes May 08, 2021 16:04
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You will keep getting the vote until you get the right answer, very democratic.
Karsten Böhm
Karsten Böhm May 08, 2021 15:07
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just nice well arguing progressive EU loving people here. Shows something the liberal left fanbase tick's
david scott
david scott May 08, 2021 14:46
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you can wave bye bye to your UK pension and say hello to contraction and austerity
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 08, 2021 14:46
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English loser
david scott
david scott May 08, 2021 14:46
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Peter Lewis Scottish winner
david scott
david scott May 08, 2021 14:46
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here's a clue: my nationality is in my name ;)
Gareth Morris
Gareth Morris May 08, 2021 14:03
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Boris is not democratic.
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 08, 2021 13:17
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England cannot stand on it’s own two feet - that’s why the thought of a Scottish referendum scares them.
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 08, 2021 13:17
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What a spineless country, and spineless people.
Gareth Morris
Gareth Morris May 08, 2021 13:17
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Peter Lewis haha! So true lol!
Peter Lewis
Petelewis1994942 May 08, 2021 12:52
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No one wants to be ruled by a lunatic like Boris. He’s an extremist, authoritarian dictator. He’s even got rid of most allies. Dangerous and unstable man.
Bob Anderton
Bob Anderton May 08, 2021 12:52
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His behaviour is disturbing. Xenophobia out of control in England. Who want’s to be part of that?
Bob Anderton
Bob Anderton May 08, 2021 12:52
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Boris’s hatred towards Wales abd Scotland makes it clear that tgere’s no such thing as the “United Kingdom”. It’s English bully boy rule, whether you like it or not.
 
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