Pro-independence parties win the majority in the Scottish Parliament and start fighting over the future of the UK
Pro-independence parties won a majority in the Parliament of Scotland on Saturday, setting the stage for a political, legal and constitutional battle with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the future of the United Kingdom.
Scotland’s Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the result meant she would make plans for a second independence referendum once the COVID-19 pandemic was over, adding that it would be absurd and outrageous for Johnson to attempt the democratic to ignore the will of the people. .
“There is simply no democratic justification for Boris Johnson, or even anyone else, who wants to block the right of the Scottish people to choose our own future,” Sturgeon said.
“It is the will of the country,” she added after her Scottish National Party (SNP) was sent back for a fourth consecutive term.
The UK government has stated that Johnson must approve any referendum and has repeatedly made it clear that he would refuse. He has said it would be irresponsible to hold one now, noting that Scots had backed up in a “once in a generation” poll in the UK in 2014.
The election result is likely to be a bitter clash between the Scottish government in Edinburgh and the Johnson government in the United Kingdom in London, putting Scotland’s 314-year union with England and Wales at stake.
The nationalists claim that they have democratic authority on their side; the UK government says the law is with them. It is likely that the final referendum decision will be settled by the court.
Johnson of UK referendum would be ‘irresponsible and reckless’
“I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless,” Johnson told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Alister Jack, the UK government’s minister of Scotland, said tackling the coronavirus crisis and vaccine roll-out should be the priority.
“We must not be distracted – COVID recovery must be the sole priority of Scotland’s two governments,” he said.
The SNP had hoped to win an outright majority, which would have reinforced their calls for secession, but they seemed to be short of a seat of the 65 required in the Scottish Parliament with 129 seats, partly due to an electoral system that smaller parties.
Union advocates argue that the SNP’s failure to get a majority has made it easier for Johnson to refute their argument that they have a mandate for a referendum.
However, the Scottish Greens, who have pledged to back a referendum, have won eight seats, meaning there will be a comfortable pro-independence majority in the Scottish assembly overall.
>> Independence the ‘elephant in the room’ when Scotland goes to the polls
Scottish politics has been diverging from other parts of the UK for some time now, but Scots remain divided about holding a new independence consultation.
Britain’s departure from the European Union – opposed by a majority of Scots – and the perception that Sturgeon’s government has handled the COVID-19 crisis well, along with its antipathy to Johnson’s conservative government in London, all have strengthened support for independence. movement.
Scots voted 55% -45% in 2014 to remain part of the UK, and polls suggest a second referendum would be too close to pronounce.
Sturgeon said her first task was to tackle the pandemic and the SNP has indicated that a referendum is unlikely until 2023. But she said any legal challenge by the Johnson government to vote would be a total disregard for Scottish democracy.
“The absurdity and scandalous nature of a Westminster government potentially going to court to overthrow Scottish democracy, I can’t think of a more colorful argument for Scottish independence myself,” she said.