The results of Thursday’s vote put the issue firmly back on the table and set the stage for a clash with London.
In her victory speech, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her Scottish National Party (SNP) – which wants to break with the UK – had won a “historic and extraordinary” victory after winning 64 seats in the Scottish Parliament, one ran out of majority.
Combined with the eight seats won by the Scottish Greens, the independence parties now control 72 of the 129 seats in parliament. The Conservative Party won 31 seats, the Labor Party won 22 and the Liberal Democrats four seats.
Sturgeon said that even though his priority was to ‘lead Scotland through the pandemic and protect the people’, his party still intends to call for a second referendum on whether to end the union of 300 years of the country with England.
The comments are likely aimed at UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose permission is needed to hold a referendum in Scotland. He has so far declined a second vote, saying a 2014 referendum – in which Scots voted to stay in the UK – was a once-in-a-generation event.
“I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless,” Johnson told the Daily Telegraph on Friday.
On Sunday, one of Johnson’s senior cabinet ministers repeatedly avoided answering questions about how the government would handle a second independence referendum.
Asked on Sky News whether the government would go to the Supreme Court if the Scottish Parliament passed a bill to hold a referendum, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said “we will not go there”.
Johnson invited Sturgeon to join a UK-wide Covid recovery summit and, in a letter, said the UK is ‘best served when we work together’.
“We will all have our own perspectives and ideas – and we will not always agree – but I am convinced that by learning from each other, we can rebuild better, for the benefit of the people we serve,” said said Johnson wrote.
The prospect of a second independence referendum has been at stake since the 2016 Brexit referendum, when 62% of Scots voted to stay in the European Union.
Speaking on the BBC’s ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ on Sunday, Sturgeon again insisted that voter support for his party – which won a fourth consecutive victory – gave him a clear mandate to organize a referendum.
“In this election they voted overwhelmingly for the SNP and we made a clear commitment to first … continue to guide the country through the Covid pandemic, but after the crisis give the Scottish people the possibility of choosing one’s own future. in a referendum, ”she said.
“The fact that we are sitting here debating whether this outcome will be respected speaks volumes about the lack of respect for Scottish democracy that the UK government has shown for some time now.