Scotland independence LIVE: Sturgeon to storm ahead with vote despite PM ‘reckless’ claims

Campbell says SNP ‘played independence down’

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told Boris Johnson a second independence vote is a “matter of when, not if”, despite the PM claiming the move would rip the country apart. The Scottish National Party (SNP) signalled her readiness for a constitutional battle and a willingness to go head to head with Mr Johnson.

Highlights

  • The Scottish National Party walked away victorious from the latest parliamentary election, claiming one seat short of an overall majority.
  • The SNP and Scottish Greens joined forces to claim an absolute majority.
  • The first Scottish independence referendum saw Scots vote against independence by 55 to 45 percent.
  • Ms Sturgeon said her priority is the coronavirus pandemic – but still intends to hold an independence referendum once the health crisis has passed.

FOLLOW BELOW FOR LIVE UPDATES:

9.40am update: Michael Gove calls on Ms Sturgeon to put Covid first

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove has urged the Scottish First Minister to focus on coronavirus rather than Scottish independence.

He said: “We should work together as Team UK in order to deal with the pandemic.” 

Mr Gove added the SNP did not win an absolute majority and therefore the single focus should be dealing with the pandemic. 

9.23am update: Gordon Brown claims people of Scotland are “more Scottish than British”

The former prime minister told the BBC many people in Scotland consider themselves “more Scottish than British”

He said: “You see what has happened in Scotland is that people assume from London that it is 50/50.

“Fifty percent hell-bent on independence, 50 percent dyed in the wool unionists, that is not the Scotland I see.

“The middle Scotland that is about 40 percent of Scots they are certainly more Scottish than British.

“They prefer Nicola Sturgeon obviously to Mr Boris Johnson.”

8.57am update: Jacob Rees-Mogg said the 2014 referendum made a decision for “the time” but not “all eternity”

The Leader of the House of Commons claimed David Cameron’s decision to agree to a referendum in 2014 was “very proper”.

Speaking on The Westminster Hour, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I think David Cameron was extremely wise in the 2014 referendum to agree basically everything that the SNP wanted – so they got the votes at 16, they were able to set the question – because they then couldn’t say afterwards that this vote was unfair, it was fiddled or in any way skewed against them and that seems to me to have been a very proper referendum and it made a decision for a period of time.

However, he added “inevitably it hasn’t made a decision for all eternity”.

8.43am update: PM urged to refuse demand for a referendum

Mr Johnson should refuse Ms Sturgoen’s demands for a second independence referendum according to a poll of Express.co.uk readers.

In total, 55 percent of 11,853 voters, said Mr Johnson should reject the idea completely.

However, 33 percent, equating to 3,877 readers, said the PM should call for a referendum immediately.

8.35am update: Susanna Reid slams Ian Blackford for referendum claim

Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid today spoke out against SNP’s Ian Blackford after he claimed the party’s victory was a mandate for a second referendum vote on Scottish independence.

Ms Reid said: “”It looks like people have voted for the leaders that have been in charge.

“We have seen that with Labour in Wales, we have seen that with Boris Johnson in England and we have seen that with Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland.

“This was not a vote for independence, the polls do now show overwhelming support for independence.”

8.22am update: Nicola Sturgeon tells Boris Johson the Scottish independence referendum WILL happen

The Scottish First Minister told the Prime Minister is “absurd and completely outrageous” for the British Government to take legal action to prevent a referendum.

She said it was a matter of “Scotland choosing its own future”.

8am update: Independence bid facing backlash from Prime Minister Boris Johnson

He said talk of “ripping our country apart” would be “irresponsible and reckless”.

Ahead of the election, reports surfaced claiming Mr Johnson is willing to take legal action to quash a second referendum vote.

This legal action could see the PM take the SNP to the Supreme Court to prevent the party from unilaterally holding a referendum vote.

The Government could act on legal advice dating back to 2011 which implies the Scottish Parliament cannot proceed with a referendum without approval from the UK Parliament according to The Telegraph.

A Government source told the publication: “If it comes to that if those are the cards they play, I don’t think the UK Government can sit back and do nothing.”

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