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Scottish nationalists vow independence vote after election win

ForexMay 09, 2021 02:32AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives at Glasgow counting centre in the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain May 7, 2021. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS 2/2

By Russell Cheyne

GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) -Pro-independence parties won a majority in Scotland's parliament on Saturday, paving the way to a high-stakes political, legal and constitutional battle with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the future of the United Kingdom.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the result meant she would push ahead with plans for a second independence referendum once the COVID-19 pandemic was over, adding that it would be absurd and outrageous if Johnson were to try to ignore the democratic will of the people.

"There is simply no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson, or indeed for anyone else, seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our own future," Sturgeon said.

"It is the will of the country," she added after her Scottish National Party (SNP) was returned for a fourth consecutive term in office.

The British government argues Johnson must give approval for any referendum and he has repeatedly made clear he would refuse. He has said it would be irresponsible to hold one now, pointing out that Scots had backed staying in the United Kingdom in a "once in a generation" poll in 2014.

The election outcome is likely to be a bitter clash between the Scottish government in Edinburgh and Johnson's United Kingdom-wide administration in London, with Scotland's 314-year union with England and Wales at stake.

The nationalists argue that they have democratic authority on their side; the British government say the law is with them. It is likely the final decision on a referendum will be settled in the courts.

'IRRESPONSIBLE AND RECKLESS'

"I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless," Johnson told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Alister Jack, the UK government's Scotland minister, said dealing with the coronavirus crisis and the vaccine rollout should be the priority.

"We must not allow ourselves to be distracted - COVID recovery must be the sole priority of Scotland’s two governments," he said.

The SNP had been hopeful of winning an outright majority which would have strengthened their call for a secession vote but they looked set to fall one seat short of the 65 required in the 129-seat Scottish parliament, partly because of an electoral system that helps smaller parties.

Pro-union supporters argue that the SNP's failure to get a majority has made it easier for Johnson to rebut their argument that they have a mandate for a referendum.

However, the Scottish Greens, who have promised to support a referendum, picked up eight seats, meaning overall there will be a comfortable pro-independence majority in the Scottish assembly.

Scottish politics has been diverging from other parts of the United Kingdom for some time, but Scots remain divided over holding another independence plebiscite.

However, Britain's exit from the European Union - opposed by a majority of Scots - as well as a perception that Sturgeon's government has handled the COVID-19 crisis well, along with antipathy to Johnson's Conservative government in London, have all bolstered support for the independence movement.

Scots voted by 55%-45% in 2014 to remain part of the United Kingdom, and polls suggest a second referendum would be too close to call.

Sturgeon said her first task was dealing with the pandemic and the SNP has indicated that a referendum is unlikely until 2023. But she said any legal challenge by Johnson's government to a vote would show a total disregard for Scottish democracy.

"The absurdity and outrageous nature of a Westminster government potentially going to court to overturn Scottish democracy, I can't think of a more colourful argument for Scottish independence than that myself," she said.

Scottish nationalists vow independence vote after election win
 

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Comments (20)
Simon Liu
Simon Liu May 09, 2021 4:43AM ET
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If even a referendum is not allowed, how can you call it democracy?Respect the Human right of Scots.
Kings Wales
Kings Wales May 09, 2021 1:43AM ET
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pound falling on monday
Kazim Chohan
Alex64 May 08, 2021 9:48PM ET
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Pay off time for British bastards for ruining the world peace.
tom joe
tom joe May 08, 2021 9:47PM ET
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Its time Scotland is free and independent and Ireland is reunited with the North.
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey May 08, 2021 9:38PM ET
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Agree. Scotland should decide for Scotland
Me comment
Me comment May 08, 2021 9:33PM ET
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I thought England stopped their world dominance years ago.
Prakash J Chaudhari
Prakash J Chaudhari May 08, 2021 8:26PM ET
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Who will pay $42 trillion pound loot of India’s wealth??
danny Levine
danny Levine May 08, 2021 8:26PM ET
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curious how you come up with the 42 trillion?
Calvin Smith
Calvin Smith May 08, 2021 8:26PM ET
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he didn't, it was a study done and published in the Columbia University press which came with a number of 45 trillion usd of loot from india
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun May 08, 2021 6:40PM ET
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They will break away if they feel their id, values dont align with the Brits
Mark Stallone
Mark Stallone May 08, 2021 3:20PM ET
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Paying attention Texas? Florida? If your gonna do it, do it fast before the 20-30 illegals start voting, and you become Blue forever.
Tony Huynh
Tony Huynh May 08, 2021 3:20PM ET
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California should be able to do it too then, they are the ones subsidizing for most of the red states
danny Levine
danny Levine May 08, 2021 3:20PM ET
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maybe they should take care of their own homelessness problem first. who would want to stay in such s h!t hole states
Tony Huynh
Tony Huynh May 08, 2021 3:20PM ET
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danny, homelessness problem are in every major city, you should visit New Orleans.
tom joe
tom joe May 08, 2021 3:20PM ET
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Tony Huynh  Where did you get that from?  CNN?
Оля Раваева
Оля Раваева May 08, 2021 2:07PM ET
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snp wants to repeat referendums until it gets a proper result, good strategy
danny Levine
danny Levine May 08, 2021 1:53PM ET
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"The only people who can decide the future of Scotland are the Scottish people, and no Westminster politician can or should stand in the way of that,"
Murray McIntosh
Murray McIntosh May 08, 2021 1:53PM ET
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they decided in 2014
tom joe
tom joe May 08, 2021 1:53PM ET
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Murray McIntosh  That was before brexit and Scotland voted to remain in the EU. Pay attention.
Murray McIntosh
Murray McIntosh May 08, 2021 1:53PM ET
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Tom so you would rather be dictated to by the bureaucrats within the EU and u call that freedom. wakeup man and look at the direction the unelected bureaucrats want to take the remains states. Scots would end up with less control in their destination at a higher costs. you need to look at EU politics and their vision before you can make an educated choice. the EU want to be a federal state whith tax powers and indirectly you'll loose your sovereignty. I'm all for a free scotland and in control of their destiny but joining the EU is not the way.
Neil Callard
Neil Callard May 08, 2021 12:00PM ET
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The trouble with all socialists is that they love to soend other peoples money. The SNP benefit from huge amounts from England. An independant Scotland will then want huge amounts from the EU. Good lick with that.
tom joe
tom joe May 08, 2021 12:00PM ET
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Scotland has the oil
Tyler Phillis
Tyler Phillis May 08, 2021 12:00PM ET
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tom joe Venezuala has lots of oil, too.
Dann Eryk
Dann Eryk May 08, 2021 11:16AM ET
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I didn't expect this
I2 K4
I2 K4 May 08, 2021 11:04AM ET
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10 years from now may well look like Brexit was actually Little England's secession from both the EU and the rest of the UK.
Dave Jones
Dave Jones May 08, 2021 10:42AM ET
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if the jocks want independence from the union and to be in Europe they are thicker than I thought
marcus daily
marcus daily May 08, 2021 8:34AM ET
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Scots want to leave the UKs control and join the EU to allow a whole bunch more bureaucrats from all over Europe to decide what’s best for Scotland???
Francesco Lucchesi
Francesco Lucchesi May 08, 2021 8:31AM ET
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leave the UK most sensible thing to do
Keng He
Keng He May 08, 2021 6:39AM ET
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Scotland should be independent
NUNO LOUREIRO
NUNO LOUREIRO May 08, 2021 6:06AM ET
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Brexit Scotland
Randy Randy
randy00 May 08, 2021 6:06AM ET
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Sexit.
danny Levine
danny Levine May 08, 2021 5:27AM ET
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free Scotland!
Murray McIntosh
Murray McIntosh May 08, 2021 5:27AM ET
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free scotland yes. but joinnh the EU is not what I see as freedom. if the choice is to join the EU or remain in the UK. I'll take the best of the two evils and stay with the UK.
danny Levine
danny Levine May 08, 2021 5:27AM ET
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Murray McIntosh Scotland should be an independent state
Randy Lahey
Randy Lahey May 08, 2021 5:27AM ET
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danny Levine  And base the economy on whisky sales? Or the second most popular tipple in Scotland, heroin?
Murray McIntosh
Murray McIntosh May 08, 2021 5:27AM ET
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Danny. you need to take a deeper look at the EU politics. Their long term view is to control of the remaining states by unelected highly paid bureaucrats with big expenses. joining the euro currency is only the first step. they are now debating common tax over the remainers. being a EU state member is not scotish freedom.
 
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