BBC’s Andrew Marr stunned Nicola Sturgeon after he pointed out the SNP were “powerless” to stop Boris Johnson from simply ignoring their independence demands for the next five years.
Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly struggled to respond to Andrew Marr on the BBC this morning after being grilled on what options the SNP had left to force an independence referendum if Boris Johnson simply says no to them. Marr challenged the Scottish First Minister by pointing out that Boris Johnson could sit in Number 10 and ignore Ms Sturgeon for the next five years. Ms Sturgeon didn’t lay out any concrete steps but insisted that Mr Johnson’s position “was not sustainable” – remarking that Scotland was becoming “imprisoned in the UK”.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon – whose party triumphed in Scotland in Thursday’s election – said the result gives her a mandate for another referendum on Scottish independence.
Andrew Marr said: “You want Boris to give Scotland an independence referendum, but there seems to be no way of making him to that.
“And that is the problem for you. How are you going to make him do something he has said he absolutely won’t? Beyond making your case, what can you do?”
Ms Sturgeon: “I will make my case, and I will take it step by step.”
She was repeatedly pressed on what her response would be to Mr Johnson if he continues to decline her request for a referendum.
Ms Sturgeon responded: “That won’t hold. Actually I said this to him on Friday night.
“If he thinks saying ‘no’ is the end of the matter then he is going to find himself completely and utterly wrong.”
Marr hit back: “Boris Johnson and his cabinet believe they can just sit this out, they can say no to your request, and just carry on.
“I am still asking you my first question – what does Scotland do then? What is your Plan B?”
Ms Sturgeon rejected claims that there could be civil disobedience on the streets of Scotland and also denied the SNP would hold an advisory referendum which wouldn’t be legally-binding.
She explained the Tories can “rage against reality” but they can’t “stand in the way of the Scottish people”.
Ms Sturgeon admitted that she wants the process to be “legal” and “constitutional”.
The SNP leader said: “Boris cannot lock us in a cupboard and throw away the key.”
She questioned what other kind of democracy would the party that lost the election – the Conservatives in Scotland – “get to dictate” to the party who won.
Ms Sturgeon confirmed that this week she will set out “the detailed democratic case for the transfer of power”.
The SNP leader reiterated that Scotland “cannot be imprisoned in the union against its will” by the UK Government.
Michael Gove told Sky News this morning that the government “absolutely” will not allow a second referendum on Scottish independence within the next five years.