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Boris Johnson formally rejects indyref2 arguments

Caption: Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House last year. Image credit: PA

Boris Johnson formally rejects indyref2 arguments

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written to Nicola Sturgeon to officially refuse her request for the power to hold another independence referendum, saying he “cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power”.

Following gains for the SNP in the December general election, the First Minister launched a renewed push for a Section 30 order, which would the transfer powers from Westminster to Holyrood needed to call a second referendum.

However, today Johnson formally rejected Sturgeon’s request.

“I have carefully considered and noted the arguments set out for a transfer of power from the UK Parliament to the Scottish Parliament to allow for further independence referendums,” he said, in the letter.

“You and your predecessor made a personal promise that the 2014 Independence Referendum was a ‘once in a generation vote’. The people of Scotland voted decisively on that promise to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK Governments committed to respect in the Edinburgh Agreement.

“The UK Government will continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise that you made to them. For that reason, I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums.”

Johnson said another indyref would “continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade”, claiming Scottish schools, hospitals and jobs would be “again left behind” by a campaign to separate the UK.

“It is time that we all worked to bring the whole of the United Kingdom together and unleash the potential of this great country,” he said.

Sturgeon took to Twitter to immediately respond to the letter, saying the Scottish Government would set out its response “and next steps” before the end of January, “when we will also again ask @ScotParl to back Scotland’s right to choose our own future”.

“The Tories are terrified of Scotland’s right to choose - because they know that when given the choice we’ll choose independence. Tories have no positive case for the union - so all they can do is attempt to deny democracy. It will not stand,” she tweeted.

After the SNP won 47 out of 59 Scottish Westminster seats last month, Sturgeon said there was “a clear mandate for this nation to have the power to decide its own future”.

"The result of last week's general election makes that mandate unarguable,” she said.

However, at that time Sturgeon refused to go into specific details about what she would do if Johnson continued to refuse to agree to transfer powers for a second referendum.

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