A LEADING European organisation has insisted the SNP have a clear mandate for a second independence referendum and that Boris Johnson cannot democratically refuse one.

The campaign group, based on the continent, say the Prime Minister does not have the moral authority to deny a new vote following the SNP's landslide victory in the election on Thursday last week which saw a majority of MSPs elected who back indyref2.

In a statement released today Europe for Scotland said the outcome of the election was "significant" with Scots renewing and reinforcing "the pro-European, pro-independence majority" in Holyrood and doing so after a record turnout of voters.

READ MORE: EU leaders urged to say independent Scotland will be welcomed back

"The mandate for a referendum is clear," it said.

"David Cameron called the EU Referendum after winning the 2015 general election with just 36.9% of the vote, Boris Johnson pushed through Brexit after being elected by 43.6% of voters, in what was called a Tory landslide. 

The National:

"Nicola Sturgeon's SNP has now won 47.7% of the vote share; results that would have given the SNP 85% of the seats in Parliament if Scotland had the same 'first-past-the-post' electoral system as the UK."

READ MORE: Question Time: Kate Forbes tears apart Lisa Nandy's indyref2 mandate claim

It added: "Even with Scotland's proportional electoral system pro-independence parties now have a larger majority in Parliament than ever before. 

"Like the SNP, both the Green Party and the Alba Party published manifestos that promised an independence referendum before the next election, and together, these parties won a majority of the vote share.

"Crucially for our campaign, the SNP and the Scottish Greens also included in their  manifestos the intention to rejoin the EU as an independent country, reaffirming the democratic mandate to remain in the EU that was expressed by the Scottish people in the Brexit referendum."

READ MORE: Stars backing EU campaign 'shows door remains open for Scotland'

It continued: "Boris Johnson does not have the moral authority to deny the Scottish people a choice. European media should not be hoodwinked by Johnson into covering the Scottish elections as a sideshow. 

"The outcome of these elections might not only define the future of the United Kingdom but also greatly impact on the future of Europe.It is time for Europeans everywhere to help Scots in their campaign for self-determination."

In her election victory speech on Saturday Nicola Sturgeon said a second independence referendum was the "will of the people" and told the Prime Minister later that the election means it is now a case of “when not if” there is another vote on the issue.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the Prime Minister will refuse any request for a Section 30 order which would transfer powers to Holyrood to hold a referendum.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross says Boris Johnson will reject any indyref2 request from Nicola Sturgeon

But the First Minister has said she would push on with Holyrood legislation to have the vote - which the UK Government may challenge in the Supreme Court.

The Europe for Scotland statement today went on to say that they would be stepping up their campaign "to mobilise European civil society" and raise awareness about Scotland's situation across the continent.

The organisation was launched a week before the Scottish election with an open letter to European political leaders -  signed by almost 200 prominent academics and cultural figures - urging them to allow Scotland back into the EU.

Some 10,000 citizens have since signed the open letter.

It calls on the continent’s leaders to offer Scotland a speedy way to rejoin the EU and to give a commitment that the country can do so ahead of a new vote.

The National:

It states: "We are Europeans from across the continent and around the world. 

"We want the people of Scotland to know that Europeans everywhere would welcome them back in the European Union if this is still their democratic wish.”

The letter was published in 10 European countries one week before the Scottish parliamentary elections. 

Five prominent Scottish signatories of the letter, Golden Globe winner Brian Cox, acclaimed novelist Val McDermid (above), poet laureate Jackie Kay, mountaineer Cameron McNeish and broadcaster Lesley Riddoch (below) signed a fresh letter today to the Europe for Scotland group.

It said: "The Scottish Parliament election last Thursday has produced the highest pro-independence majority in the history of the Scottish Parliament. 

"Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP party almost obtained a working majority in its own right - something that should be impossible in a proportionally elected parliament.

"The mandate for a second independence referendum is therefore clear. If that vote is held once the pandemic recovery is complete, as Nicola Sturgeon has promised, and if Scots vote for independence, then Brexit could be cancelled for five million Scots - as long as the  new state is able to rejoin the European Union.

"Confidence about an EU welcome will also affect the referendum result. In 2014, Scots were  (falsely) assured that the only way to remain in the EU was to stay inside the UK. 

"So now, we need the EU to make crystal clear that Scotland (whose 5 million citizens have been full  members for 40 years) will be welcomed back as an independent state in its own right, should its people so decide."

The National:

Signatories to the letter include novelists Phillip Pullman and Elena Ferrante, human rights lawyer Katrin Oddsdottir, and philosopher Professor Slavoj Žižek.

Other prominent figures include Belgian political economist Philippe Van Parijs, the Irish writer Colm Toibin and the UK economic historian Adam Tooze.

Supporters from the UK include musician Brian Eno, author Neil Gaiman, novelist Ian McEwan and historian David Edgerton.

Outlander star Sam Heughan, composer Nigel Osborne were also among the 200 signatures from across 30 European countries.