A spokesman for Scotland’s First Minister and the SNP leader confirmed she will set out her Government’s plans next week. He said: “The First Minister will seek to update before the end of the month, as she indicated.” Nicola Sturgeon’s spokesman insisted ministers are still committed to holding a referendum this year, despite the latest refusal from Boris Johnson last week.
He said the SNP’s position was “endorsed” by voters in last month’s general election, when Scotland’s ruling party won 47 of the 59 seats available in the country.
The spokesman added: ”It will be an update following the Prime Minister’s reply to the First Minister, which was delivered this time last week.
“It will be an update from our side on how we intend to move things forward in light of that reply.”
Ms Sturgeon is continuing her campaign for a second referendum on Scottish independence – more than five years after the country voted 55 percent to 45 percent in favour of remaining in the UK.
Scotland’s First Minister has argued the SNP’s gains at last month’s general election mean it now has a mandate to hold Indyref2 this year.
But last week Mr Johnson wrote to Ms Sturgeon, highlighting how the SNP had promised the referendum had been a “once-in-a-generation event”.
In the letter, the Prime Minister said the UK Government “will continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise that you made to them”.
He added “for that reason, I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums”.
This sparked a furious response from Ms Sturgeon, who raged: “The problem for the Tories is the longer they try to block democracy, the more they show the Westminster union is not one of equals and fuel support for independence.
“This response is predictable – but also unsustainable and self defeating. Scotland will have the right to choose.”
She said the Scottish Government would set out its response and the next steps it will take before the end of January – adding she would also ask MSPs at Holyrood to “back Scotland’s right to choose our own future”.
Ms Sturgeon has requested powers to be transferred, insisting there was a “democratic case” for a second ballot to be held on the issue.
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Last week, a senior SNP politician called on the Scottish Parliament to bypass the Prime Minister and Westminster by calling its own second Scottish independence referendum.
Former Health Secretary Alex Neil told the Daily Record bypassing Westminster would be a legal move if the Lord Advocate gave it the go-ahead.
When asked what the response from ministers should be if they were told Holyrood could stage their own referendum, he beamed: “Do it!”
The comments from Mr Neil are the latest in an aggressive push from the party on Indyref2, with Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell claiming there are “many options” available to them.
He refused to elaborate further, only to add: “As we move forward, they will all become clear.”
He also launched a furious attack against Mr Johnson, and said: “I think you can either have democracy or you can have dictatorship, you can’t have both.
“If Boris Johnson wants to be a dictator that simply says ‘other people’s votes don’t matter, Scotland’s doesn’t matter, Scotland isn’t a nation’.
“That is a decision which cannot hold in my view, because it goes so much against the views of the people of Scotland.”
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