Boris Johnson has formally rejected the Scottish First Minister call for Holyrood to be given the authority to hold a second independence referendum.
In a letter to Nicola Sturgeon, the Prime Minister stated that he had “carefully considered” her request, but that he “could not agree that now is the time to return to a question which was clearly answered by the people of Scotland in 2014.”
Ms Sturgeon said that Mr Johnson’s refusal to grant the Scottish Parliament the right to vote could be one of his final acts as Prime Minister.
“Just received this from Johnson (one of his last acts as PM?). To be clear, Scotland will have the opportunity to choose independence – I hope in a referendum on 19 October 2023 but, if not, through a general election. Scottish democracy will not be a prisoner of this or any PM, Sturgeon wrote on Twitter.
The letter, which the Scottish First Minister revealed on Twitter, came in the wake of a string of resignations from the Westminster government, with many Conservatives now urging the Prime Minister to resign.
“To be clear, Scotland will have the opportunity to choose independence – I hope in a referendum on 19 October 2023, but if not, through a general election,” Ms Sturgeon said.
Mr Johnson, on the other hand, told her, “I have carefully considered the arguments you put forward for transferring power from the UK Parliament to the Scottish Parliament in order to hold another referendum on independence.”
“As our country faces unprecedented challenges at home and abroad, I cannot agree that now is the time to revisit a question that the people of Scotland clearly answered in 2014.”
“Our shared priorities must be to respond effectively to the global cost-of-living challenge, to support our NHS and public services as they recover from the massive disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to play a leading role in the international response to Russian aggression in Ukraine,” Mr Johnson continued.
“These are widespread issues in the United Kingdom that require our full attention.”