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Scottish leader: will consider all options if UK blocks independence vote

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland’s nationalist government will consider all options if the British government tries to stop it from holding a referendum on Scottish independence, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday.

Sturgeon’s pro-independence, anti-Brexit Scottish National Party (SNP) won 48 out of Scotland’s 59 parliamentary seats in last week’s UK-wide election, which she said showed overwhelming support for her agenda to hold such a referendum.

“The question is often posed to me: ‘what will you do if Boris Johnson says no?’ As I’ve said before, I will consider all reasonable options to secure Scotland’s right to self-determination,” said Sturgeon in a speech.

Scots rejected independence by 55% to 45% in a 2014 referendum.

Johnson has so far signalled that he would not allow a second referendum to take place, but Sturgeon argues that circumstances have changed since then, mainly because Scots voted to remain in the European Union in a 2016 referendum in which the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave.

She said Johnson’s attitude on the Scottish issue would push the country towards the exit door.

“The more a Tory (Conservative) government seeks to block the will of the Scottish peoople, the more they show complete and utter contempt for Scottish democracy, the more support for independence will rise, so their short term strategy, in my view sows, the seeds of their longer term defeat.”

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