Queen meets Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland after Prime Minister suggests date for new independence vote | Political news



The Queen met Nicola Sturgeon, the day after the Scottish First Minister proposed a date for a new referendum on Scottish independence.

They spoke at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Her Majesty is in the Scottish capital for Holyrood Week, and took part in the Handover of keys on Monday.

Before meeting the monarch, Ms Sturgeon said she was doing ‘the responsible thing’ as she pursued a new vote on breaking up with the UK.

She also disputed whether the right to call a new plebiscite belonged to the UK Supreme Court.

And she accused Boris Johnson of disrespecting democracy and disrespecting the rule of law.

She told Sky News there was stronger support for a new referendum in Holyrood Houses than there was for Brexit in Westminster Houses.

When told that calling a referendum is not the prerogative of a devolved government, Ms Sturgeon told Kay Burley: “All I’m saying is that it’s contested, but you can’t say that as a statement of fact because it hasn’t been judicially determined.

“That’s what we’re seeking, through the Lord Advocate’s decision in Scotland, to get – a judicial decision on this.”

But she added that such a legal argument ‘would not be necessary, of course, if Boris Johnson and the UK government would simply respect democracy and accept the process to put a referendum beyond legal doubt’.

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Sturgeon on the proposed Scottish referendum

Ms Sturgeon continued: “I’m doing the responsible thing – a referendum has to be legal.

“I’m not like Boris Johnson, who of course breaks international law with his actions on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“I respect the rule of law, that’s why we take the path that I traced yesterday – it’s the responsible thing to do.

“But I also respect democracy. Scottish democracy cannot be a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any other British Prime Minister.

“The people of Scotland must have the right to choose.”

Ms Sturgeon set the date of October 19, 2023 for an “advisory referendum”.

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‘Fiction’ of union if blocked referendum

“The referendum was once in a generation”

But Labour’s shadow leveling secretary Lisa Nandy said Ms Sturgeon ‘has a neck of brass’.

She told Sky News: ‘It was her and her SNP friends who said the independence referendum (in 2014) was a unique chance to settle the issue.’

Ms Nandy continued: “What she has done in the last 24 hours has nothing to do with the interests of Scotland, but with the interests of the SNP.

“She is launching an election bid. There are 700,000 people on waiting lists in Scotland for NHS treatment.

“If I was in charge in Scotland, I would be very serious about addressing this crisis. It’s something that keeps Scottish families up at night, and it should be focused on that.”

Approached on this subject, Ms. Sturgeon accused the British administration of cutting the conclusions.

She said Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of England were all suffering “from a chancellor who pursues a policy of austerity rather than investment”.

“We would be better able to manage the support of our public services if we mastered all the levers that effectively determine the environment and the financial situation in which we operate,” she added.

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“Dividing” push for a new referendum on independence

“Sturgeon knows time is running out”

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said Ms Sturgeon was in a race against time.

He told Sky News: “The problem for Nicola is that time is running out, and I think she knows that (that).

“Despite all the spin she puts on separation, she knows that with each passing day, (she is) further away from her referendum.”

Mr Wallace said the division had been ‘fuelled the first time around’ and ‘people feel that being in the UK is probably a better option’.

He added: “If you look at COVID, the scale of support for Scotland could only have been provided through political union.”


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