The decision of the Scottish Parliament must be respected, the First Minister said today in response to comments from the Prime Minister which appeared to suggest she would block the people of Scotland having a choice over their future.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Theresa May said “now is not the time” for a second referendum on independence.”
The Prime Minister added: “I think we should be working to get the right deal for Scotland and the UK with our future partnership with the European Union.”
The First Minister set out proposals on Monday to seek the Scottish Parliament’s approval for a referendum to take place giving people the choice between a hard Brexit and an independent Scotland after the Brexit deal is clear but before it is too late to choose an alternative path. A vote on whether a second referendum should be held is scheduled to take place next week in the Scottish parliament.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“As I set out earlier this week, we are not proposing a referendum now – we are proposing to give the people of Scotland a choice once Brexit is clear but before it is too late.
“The PM does not appear to have listened to our proposal.
“We will put our proposition, based firmly on this government’s democratic mandate, to the Scottish Parliament next week, and then we will put our formal proposals to the UK Government.
“If the Prime Minister refuses to engage on the terms of a referendum before Brexit takes place then she is effectively trying to block the people of Scotland having a choice over their future. That would be a democratic outrage.
“It is for the Scottish Parliament – not Downing Street – to determine the timing of a referendum, and the decision of the Scottish Parliament must be respected.
“It would be outrageous for the Scottish Parliament to be frozen out of the process.
“The Scottish Government has a cast-iron democratic mandate to offer people a choice and that mandate must be fulfilled.
“Any bid by the UK Government to block the people of Scotland from making a choice will be untenable, undemocratic and totally unsustainable – and clearly shows that the UK Government recognises it is out of step with the Scottish people.”