Scotland ‘cannot be imprisoned’ in UK, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon Says

Scottish’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scotland cannot be imprisoned in the union against its will” by the UK government.

Sturgeon noted that the SNP’s success in the general election gives her a mandate to hold a new referendum on independence.

A move UK ministers are opposed to, with Michael Gove insisting the vote in 2014 should be “respected”.

Ms Sturgeon speaking with the BBC said that if the UK was to continue as a union, “it can only be by consent”.

She told The Andrew Marr Show that the UK government would be “completely wrong” to think saying no to a referendum would be the end of the matter, adding: “It’s a fundamental point of democracy – you can’t hold Scotland in the union against its will.”

However Mr Gove told the Sophy Ridge programme on Sky that “we were told in 2014 that that would be a choice for a generation – we are not going to have an independence referendum in Scotland”.

The SNP won a landslide of Scottish seats in the snap general election, making gains from the Conservatives and Labour and unseating Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson.

However UK-wide the Conservatives won a comfortable majority, returning Boris Johnson to Downing Street and setting up a constitutional stand-off over Scotland’s future.

The Scottish government wants a referendum deal with UK ministers similar to that which underpinned the 2014 vote, to ensure that the outcome is legal and legitimate – but are facing opposition from the UK government.

Ms Sturgeon said it was “fundamentally not democratic” for Mr Johnson to rule out a referendum when his party had been “defeated comprehensively” in Scotland – losing seven of its 13 seats while standing on a platform of opposition to independence.

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