NICOLA Sturgeon has asked Boris Johnson for the powers to hold a legally watertight second referendum on independence to be devolved to Holyrood

Speaking on Thursday morning Sturgeon said her government's mandate was “by any normal standard of democracy, unarguable.”

The First Minister last made a request for a Section 30 in 2017 but it was knocked back by the then Prime Minister Theresa May, who said that it was "not the time" for another vote. 

Sturgeon has long said she will ask Johnson for a Section 30 order before the end of the year. 

But when asked about this during the general election campaign, the Prime Minister said he would return that request back unopened. 

However, the two spoke last week, following the general election where the SNP win the majority of seats in Scotland and the Tories win the majority of seats in the rest of the UK. 

Sturgeon said he had agreed then to engage constructively with any plans coming from the Scottish Government.

The government this morning published those plans.

The Scotland’s Right To Choose document sets out the “case” for the transfer of power, and includes draft legislation calling for the power to hold indyref2 to be devolved permanently.


The National: Boris Johnson

Speaking at Bute House, Sturgeon said that last week’s election result made it clear that Scotland “does not want a Tory Government led by Boris Johnson taking us out of the European Union.”

She added: "It is a fundamental democratic principle that decisions on Scotland's constitutional future should rest with the people who live here.

"As this document lays out, the Scottish Government has a clear democratic mandate to offer people a choice on that future in an independence referendum, and the UK Government has a democratic duty to recognise that. Last week's general election has only strengthened that mandate.

"We are therefore today calling for the UK Government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament's right to legislate for a referendum on independence.

"Together with the constitutional and democratic case for that transfer of power, we are also publishing the draft legislation that would give effect to it."

Sturgeon said it was not for her to spell out her “plan B” if the Prime Minister says no. She argued that last week voters had given her “plan A” a ringing endorsement. 

She added: "It is for the Prime Minister to defend why he believes the UK is not a voluntary union of equal nations.

"It is for him to set out why he does not believe people in Scotland have the right to self-determination.

"And it is for the Prime Minister to explain why he believes it is acceptable to ignore election after election in Scotland and to override a democratic mandate stronger than the one he claims for his Brexit deal.

"We live in a democracy, and ultimately democracy must and will prevail."

READ MORE: Sturgeon: There is a 'clear democratic mandate' for independence

Jackson Carlaw, the interim leader of the Scottish Tories, accused the First Minister of trying to bend the rules. 

He said: “Scotland voted No in 2014, and both sides agreed that would be a once-in-a-generation decision come what may.

“Ever since then Nicola Sturgeon has tried to bend the rules, and this latest stunt is another example of that.

“Now, more than ever, Scotland needs a government that cares about public services, jobs and the economy.”

He added: “Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear again if she doesn’t win indyref2, it’ll be straight onto indyref3 and indyref4.

“She wants to trap Scotland in a neverendum when most people simply want to move on.”

Patrick Harvie, the co-leader of the Scottish Greens was more supportive. He said: “The Scottish Parliament has already voted to seek a section 30 order, and if Nicola Sturgeon feels the need to bring another vote to Holyrood, the Scottish Greens will back it again.

“If Boris Johnson ignores that mandate, as he is threatening to do, it will only strengthen the case for Scotland to break ties with a flawed democracy that denies us a say over our future.

“His reckless Brexit cuts our ties with Europe, rips up workers rights and environmental protections and pursues a right wing race to the bottom in order to get a US trade deal.”

The National: Nicola Sturgeon

The letter

Dear Boris,

I said on Tuesday that I would be publishing the detailed democratic case for the transfer of power from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament, now being sought by the Scottish Government, by order under section 30 of the Scotland Act or an Act of the UK Parliament, to allow for an independence referendum that is beyond legal challenge.

I am enclosing a copy of that document.

When we spoke on Friday, you reiterated your Government's position on this issue - however, you also committed to engaging seriously with our proposals.

Indeed, I believe that on this - as on any issue - you have a duty to do so in a considered and reasonable manner.

I therefore look forward to discussing matters further with you in the new year.
In the meantime, please accept my best wishes for the festive season.


Best wishes,

Nicola Sturgeon