Boris Johnson sends letter to Nicola Sturgeon rejecting second referendum

Nicola Sturgeon said it could have been one of Mr Johnson's last acts as Prime Minister

Published

Boris Johnson has formally rejected a call from the Scottish First Minister for Holyrood to be given the power to hold a second independence vote.

In a letter to Nicola Sturgeon, the under-fire Prime Minister said he had “carefully considered” her request – but he insisted that he could “not agree that now is the time to return to a question which was clearly answered by the people of Scotland in 2014”.

Ms Sturgeon said the refusal to grant the Scottish Parliament the power to hold a vote could be one of Mr Johnson’s last acts as Prime Minister.

The letter, which the Scottish First Minister revealed on Twitter, came in the wake of a series of resignations from government at Westminster, with many Tories now urging the PM to quit.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon shared the letter
Nicola Sturgeon shared the letter

Ms Sturgeon insisted: “To be clear, Scotland will have the opportunity to choose independence – I hope in a referendum on 19 October 2023 but if not, through a general election.”

But Mr Johnson told her: “I have carefully considered the arguments you set out for a transfer of power from the UK Parliament to the Scottish Parliament to hold another referendum on independence.

“As our country faces unprecedented challenges at home and abroad, I cannot agree that now is the time to return to a question, which was clearly answered by the people of Scotland in 2014.”

Mr Johnson continued: “Our shared priorities must be to respond effectively to the global cost-of-living challenge, to support our NHS and public services as they recover from the huge disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, and to play our leading part in the international response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“These are common challenges across the United Kingdom, which deserve our full attention.”