BORIS JOHNSON has refused to cave into demands from Nicola Sturgeon for a second referendum on Scottish independence, telling her the previous vote in 2014 must be respected.
The SNP leader continued her calls for a fresh vote during the general election campaign, but following a responding victory last night, the Prime Minister has refused to budge. In a telephone call with Nicola Sturgeon, Downing Street said Boris Johnson “reiterated his unwavering commitment to strengthening the union”. A spokesman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon earlier this evening, where he reiterated his unwavering commitment to strengthening the union.
“On Brexit, the Prime Minister said that he is now in a position to get this done in a way that allows the whole of the UK to move forward together, providing certainty for Scottish businesses and improving the lives of people right across Scotland.
“The Prime Minister made clear how he remained opposed to a second independence referendum, standing with the majority of people in Scotland who do not want to return to division and uncertainty.
“He added how the result of the 2014 referendum was decisive and should be respected.”
Ms Sturgeon took to Twitter to share her reaction to the call with Mr Johnson.
She tweeted: “I made clear that @theSNP mandate to give people a choice must be respected – just as he expects his mandate to be respected.”
Earlier today, Ms Sturgeon sent a stern message to Mr Johnson in her victory speech following the success the SNP enjoyed in the general election.
Speaking in Edinburgh, the Scottish First Minister reiterated her call to keep Scotland in the EU via a second independence referendum.
She urged Mr Johnson not to stand in the way of the will of the Scottish people.
Ms Sturgeon: “Firstly, it is now clear beyond any doubt that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland want to remain in the European Union. That verdict was first delivered in the referendum in 2016.
“It was re-enforced in the general election of 2017. It was strengthened in the European election earlier this year. And last night it was emphatically confirmed.
“Westminster has ignored people in Scotland for three years. Last night the people of Scotland said – enough. It is time for Boris Johnson to start listening.
“I accept – regretfully – that he has a mandate for Brexit in England. But he has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the EU.”
Ms Sturgeon added: “During this campaign, I said repeatedly that all elections are important but that this one really mattered. I said the very future of Scotland was on the line. Last night was indeed a watershed moment.
“So, today, as we reflect on the outcome, we should also look ahead. This morning I want to address both the people of Scotland and the Prime Minister directly.
“To the people of Scotland I want to say thank you. Thank you for the overwhelming victory you gave the SNP last night. The SNP will never take you for granted.”
Ms Sturgeon was preparing herself for a showdown with Mer Johnson as she insisted the SNP’s election success, where it won 47 seats – up from 35 from two years ago – gives her a “renewed, refreshed and strengthened” mandate for a second vote on Scottish independence.
The SNP made several gains north of the border, including ousting Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson.
Ms Sturgeon’s ruling party won 45 percent of the vote in Scotland – a slightly higher amount than the 43.6% of the vote Mr Johnson’s Tories secured across the UK.
Scotland’s First Minister said it had been an “exceptionally good night” for her party, with the results leaving Scotland and the rest of the UK on “divergent paths”.
As well as calling Ms Sturgeon, the Prime Minister also spoke to Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford this evening.
The Downing Street spokesman said they “talked about their shared commitment to the union and to growth and prosperity for Wales within a strengthened United Kingdom”.
The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister made clear how the UK is strongest when all four nations unite and all work together to unleash the potential of the entire country.
“The Prime Minister said as we can now get Brexit done, we can provide certainty and security for the people of Wales and the whole of the UK – enabling us to move forward together.”