First Minister says Tories “fear the verdict of the Scottish people”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has responded to UK Government statements that it will not enter into negotiations over a Scottish independence referendum by warning that it would be taking an “undemocratic” move in blocking Scottish democracy.
A press conference held in Edinburgh by Scottish opposition leader Ruth Davidson and the Tories’ lone Scottish MP and Scottish secretary David Mundell, in which he said calls for a referendum were “unfair” and “any request at this time will be declined” was teed-up by a brief televised interview with Prime Minister Theresa May, who said that it was “not the right time” for a vote.
The intervention by the UK Government and their supporters in Scotland was launched during First Minister’s questions, when the business of Scottish governance was underway, and the Scottish Government could not respond. During debate – Sturgeon asked Davidson if she would stand by the rights of the Scottish Parliament if it voted for a referendum next Wednesday (22 March).
On twitter following the parliamentary session, Sturgeon said : “Scotgov is not proposing #scotref now…but when the terms of Brexit clear and before it is too late to choose an alternative path. A section 30 order must be discussed and agreed now to enable that timescale.
“If the Tories refuse to do so, they would effectively be blocking Scotland’s right to choose when the Brexit terms clear… this would be undemocratic given scotgov clear mandate and also proof positive that the Tories fear the verdict of the Scottish people.” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
“If the Tories refuse to do so, they would effectively be blocking Scotland’s right to choose when the Brexit terms clear… this would be undemocratic given scotgov clear mandate and also proof positive that the Tories fear the verdict of the Scottish people. One last point – if PM thinks we won’t know terms of Brexit by autumn next year, she must think her own timetable will fail.”
Speaking at the press conference, Mundell said:“That established that a referendum must be legal, fair and decisive. The proposal brought forward is not fair, people will not be able to make an informed choice.
“Neither is there public or political support for such a referendum. Therefore, we will not be entering into discussions or negotiations about a section 30 agreement and any request at this time will be declined.”
Earlier, SNP MP Alex Salmond warned that May would “rue the day” she considered denying the Scottish people a democratic vote on their own future, as she would unite Scotland against her.
The announcement of an independence referendum came on Monday 13 March, after the Scottish Government had spent months attempting to arrive at a compromise solution to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU.
Picture courtesy of Twitter/Aidan Kerr
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