During the historic referendum of 2014, Scots voted by a significant margin of 55 percent to 45 percent against Scottish independence and to remain
During the historic referendum of 2014, Scots voted by a significant margin of 55 percent to 45 percent against Scottish independence and to remain part of the UK. But despite this, the SNP and First Minister Ms Sturgeon have continued to ramp up their campaign for a second referendum on independence. They have argued Brexit – which Scots voted against by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent – was implemented against the will of the Scottish people, and provides the party with a mandate to hold a second independence vote.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stood strong against the repeated demands for another referendum, insisting the result from the original vote in nearly seven years ago stands and must continue to be honoured.
Undeterred, Ms Sturgeon has vowed the SNP would push further for a second vote should the party win a majority at the upcoming Scottish elections, scheduled to take place on May 6.
But a petition on the official petition.parliament.uk website named ‘Do not give consent for another Scottish Independence Referendum’ has already received 100,000 signatures – less than a month after launching.
Crucially, the website states: “Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate.”
The petition, launched by V. Rooth at the end of last month, says: “The SNP government appears solely intent on getting independence at any cost.
“The independence referendum was called a once in a generation vote – so let it be.”
The UK Government provided a response to the petition on February 12, repeating comments from the Prime Minister the result from the referendum in 2014 must continue to be respected.
It reiterates Mr Johnson wrote to Ms Sturgeon in January 2020 to state he will not agree to requests for a transfer of power from Westminster to Holyrood that would lead to additional referendums.
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The Downing Street explains how Scotland benefits from being part of a “strong United Kingdom” and will continue to build on the combined strengths of the Union, warning it is more important than ever for the UK to work together to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
The UK Government response to the petition says: “The referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 was legal, fair and decisive and the people of Scotland voted by a significant margin to remain part of the United Kingdom.
“The Edinburgh Agreement committed both the UK and Scottish governments to respect the referendum’s outcome.
“The Prime Minister wrote to the First Minister of Scotland in January 2020 to confirm he cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power from the UK Parliament to the Scottish Parliament that would lead to further independence referendums.
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The UK Government response adds: “Scotland benefits greatly from being part of a strong United Kingdom and the UK Government is committed to continuing to protect and promote the combined strengths of our Union, building on the historic bonds and common values we share.
“Now, more than ever, it is important all parts of the United Kingdom work together to protect lives and livelihoods and drive our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
But the SNP are determined to push ahead with independence and last weekend, Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Mike Russell confirmed the Government will publish legislation setting out the timetable and question of a potential Scottish referendum within weeks.
The draft Bill is due to be published before the Scottish Parliament takes its recess next month in the weeks leading up to the Scottish elections.
Mr Russell told the Sunday National newspaper: “We said we would publish it before the Parliament rose and we will.
“It is a very simple Bill, there is nothing complicated about it.
“The key point is we have said we will put it in front of the people of Scotland at an election and they will have the decision on it.
“It is proceeding according to what we said, it is a simple short Bill and people will have the chance to then decide what they want to do – that is democracy.”