UK's Johnson says no to Sturgeon's Scottish referendum demand

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Friday he would not support her plan for a second independence referendum, clashing just hours after the two leaders emerged triumphant from a national election. Sturgeon had earlier on Friday demanded another independence referendum after her Scottish National Party (SNP) won a better-than-expected 48 out of Scotland’s 59 seats in the U.K. parliament in London.

Johnson, whose Conservatives won a resounding victory in Thursday’s election, spoke to Sturgeon later in the day and said he would not agree to another independence vote, after Scottish voters backed remaining in the United Kingdom in a 2014 vote.

“The Prime Minister made clear how he remained opposed to a second independence referendum, standing with the majority of people in Scotland who do not want to return to division and uncertainty,” Johnson’s office said in a statement.

“He added how the result of the 2014 referendum was decisive and should be respected.”

Sturgeon responded shortly after on Twitter, saying she had told the prime minister that her political mandate to give people a choice must be respected, “just as he expects his mandate to be respected”.

Sturgeon said on Friday it was now time for the country to decide its future and that her administration would make the case next week for full legal powers to call an independence referendum.

“The people of Scotland have spoken. It is time now to decide our own future,” Sturgeon said after her Scottish National Party increased the number of its seats in the British parliament following a UK-wide election.

“The Scottish government will next week publish the detailed, democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge,” she added, referring to the administration she heads in Edinburgh.

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