UK Government should be “clamouring” for independence referendum says Sturgeon
The UK Government should be “clamouring” for an independence referendum if they believe in their case for the union, said Scotland’s First Minister.
Any attempt to boycott a future independence referendum would show the UK Government does not believe it can win the case for the union, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Ms Sturgeon is hoping to hold a vote next October if the Supreme Court rules ordering a ballot is within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
But some – including Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross – have suggested the unionist side could boycott the referendum.
Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the First Minister said: “I believe very firmly – and I think this is a bit of an iron law of politics – if the other side of this debate really believed people in Scotland didn’t want a referendum and if they really believed that people in Scotland would vote against independence – they’d be the ones clamouring for a referendum.
“If the Supreme Court paves the way for a lawful referendum next year, I think the vast majority of the people of Scotland would take part in that.
“The UK Government might decide to say they don’t want them to take part in that, but I don’t think that is going to prevail.
“If you’re confident in your arguments in politics, if you’re confident in the case that you’re making, then you don’t fear democracy, you actually relish the opportunity to put your case before the people and let the people decide.”
When asked if it is possible the UK Government wants to avoid the “disruption” that would stem from a referendum, the First Minister said: “Disruption? Perish the thought we would have disruption in people’s lives right now.
“The disruption that people are suffering right now are coming from decisions that have been imposed on Scotland against our will.”
The First Minister pointed to Brexit and the UK Government’s mini-budget as decisions imposed on Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon has said plans are “ready to go” to legislate for an independence referendum if it gets the go ahead from the Supreme Court.
The court is set to hear oral arguments this week before ruling if a prospective Bill to hold another vote is within the powers of Holyrood.
Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Nicola Sturgeon said: “There’s little point speculating on the outcome of a court hearing, but should that be yes, we have the plans ready to go to legislate.
“Work on refreshing and updating the substantive case for independence is well under way – that will continue over the course of the next days.”
She went on to say she is “confident Scotland will become independent”.
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