During her SNP Party Conference Speech, Nicola Sturgeon said that a new referendum on Independence ‘must happen next year’
and that she would be asking the UK government by the end of the year for formal consent. During the original Scottish Independence Referendum back in 2014, Scotland voted 55.3% against Independence.
“And we are getting ready. By the new year, we will have completed our legislative preparations. We are already working to update the independence prospectus.
“And I can confirm today that before the end of this year, I will demand the transfer of power that puts the legality of a referendum beyond any doubt.”
However, her requests for the new referendum have been met with mixed and opposing views. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, immediately met Sturgeon’s remarks with strong opposition for a second referendum saying that he would block her requests and pledged higher spending for Scotland to make up for the ‘grave inadequacies’ of the SNP.
The Prime Minister said:
I hope the money that we are now investing is properly spent on those services. And I hope that Scottish Conservatives get the credit they deserve for the hundreds of millions of extra funding that we’re putting into Scottish agriculture, which was secured not by Nicola Sturgeon but by Scottish Conservatives.”
In addition to the Prime Minister’s opposing views, the Chancellor Sajid Javid, proposed an extra £1.2 billion
for Scotland this month, with £160 million for farmers in order to settle ongoing arguments about the redistribution in the Common Agricultural Policy.
However, the SNP leader further challenged the potential for a block by referring to the the upcoming 2021 Holyrood Elections, suggesting that it was clear that Scotland wanted independence.
On the other side of the Westminster benches, Jeremy Corbyn has opened the door to a potential new referendum
. When questioned on his support for indyref2, he responded by saying “We would not countenance it in the early days or the early years of a Labour government”. However, Nicola Sturgeon responded to his comments harshly saying “I say this to Jeremy Corbyn: if you don’t accept Scotland’s right to choose our own future at the time of our own choosing, don’t even bother to pick up the phone to me”.
From the view of the general public many people have asked Ms Sturgeon if she will have a ‘Plan B’
, however many delegates to the SNP conference pushed aside opportunities to debate a potential second plan when the conference opened on Sunday. Others have called for an unofficial referendum
to be held, similar to that of Catalonia in 2017, while Scottish Government Brexit Secretary Mike Russel, has not ruled a legal challenge to the UK government. Nicola Sturgeon also responded to such questions by telling conference that such questions should be directed at the UK Government if they reject to agreeing with Section 30. She said: “The question should be demanded of the Westminster parties – what gives you any right to deny people in Scotland our ability to choose our own future?
Overall, there are concerns that an early referendum could be damaging to the SNP often coupled with further concerns over the overall survival of the United Kingdom as a union. Nicola Sturgeon also stressed the need for the triggering Section 30 to be done legally, ruling out an executive agreement to hold an unofficial referendum as pushed by many SNP members. However, the SNP remain confident that if a referendum is held that Scotland will choose independence.