Downing Street Responds To Nicola Sturgeon’s Call For A Second Independence Referendum

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Downing Street has responded to Nicola Sturgeon’s speech, where she announced her plan for a second Scottish independence referendum, with a statement.

Downing Street statement in full:

“As the prime minister has set out, the UK government seeks a future partnership with the EU that works for the whole of the United Kingdom. The UK government will negotiate that agreement, but we will do so taking into account the interests of all of the nations of the UK.

We have been working closely with all the devolved administrations – listening to their proposals, and recognising the many areas of common ground, including workers’ rights, the status of EU citizens living in the UK and our security from crime and terrorism.

Only a little over two years ago people in Scotland voted decisively to remain part of our United Kingdom in a referendum which the Scottish government defined as a ‘once in a generation’ vote. The evidence clearly shows that a majority of people in Scotland do not want a second independence referendum. Another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time.

The Scottish government should focus on delivering good government and public services for the people in Scotland.”

Any request for a second referendum from the Scottish Parliament, through the triggering of Section 30, would have to be agreed to by Westminster.

Despite stating that “another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty,” Downing Street has not explicitly ruled out granting Scotland the right to trigger a second independence referendum.

Westminster and Holyrood politicians alike have responded to Sturgeon’s speech via Twitter.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn said “it would be wrong to hold another [referendum] so soon and Scottish Labour will oppose it in the Scottish Parliament,” but also added that in Westminster, Labour would not oppose the Scottish Parliament’s right to trigger a second referendum.

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, Ruth Davidson, said that “Nicola Sturgeon has today chosen the path of further division and uncertainty.”

Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, added that “Scotland is already divided enough.”

Despite opposition from Scotland’s Labour and Conservative parties, the SNP is expected to have a clear majority for a vote in support of a second referendum in the Scottish Parliament, supported by the Scottish Green Party.

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