UK vote reinforces case for Scottish referendum: SNP - GulfToday

UK vote reinforces case for Scottish referendum: SNP


Boris Johnson. File

Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicolas Sturgeon said her party’s strong performance in Britain’s snap election reinforced her case for holding a fresh Scottish independence referendum.

“The people of Scotland have spoken. It is time now to decide our own future,” Sturgeon said.

“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.

Sturgeon said Thursday’s outcome gave relected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a mandate to take England out of the European Union (EU), but not Scotland.

Sturgeon cheered the defeat of Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson by the nationalists in a clip that went viral on social media early on Friday.

Swinson was one of the biggest scalps to fall in a British election that saw the SNP nearly sweep the board in Scotland, and Johnson’s Conservatives make inroads into Labour strongholds in the Midlands and North of England, putting him on course for the biggest Conservative victory since 1987.

The SNP’s Amy Callaghan overturned Swinson’s 2017 majority of 5,339 to win Dunbartonshire East with 19,672 votes against Swinson’s 19,523.

The SNP picked up 48 out of Scotland’s 59 seats contested in Britain’s election on Thursday.

Separatist leader Torra congratulated the SNP and said it must be allowed to hold another independence referendum.

“Congratulations to the friends of @theSNP and First Minister @NicolaSturgeon for this magnificent result that demonstrates the democratic will for independence and the European commitment of the Scottish people,” he tweeted.

On the streets of Glasgow, the mood was combative.

“We need to get away from them, we have to absolutely get away from them,” Katrina McKaylor, a bank worker in her 40s, said.

“They don’t even think like us, they are just totally different people and I don’t want to be part of that.”

 week offer a detailed, democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum,” she said.

The outcome of the British election will help a fresh drive next week to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland after a near three-year hiatus, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Friday.

The British-run region’s mandatory power-sharing executive, a key part of a 1998 peace deal that largely ended three decades of violence, collapsed in early 2017 after a row between the dominant Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein.

Both the DUP — hardline supporters of the union with Britain — and the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein lost ground in the share of the vote in Thursday’s election to what Coveney called “middle ground” parties more supportive of dialogue.

“We have seen a real surge in middle ground politics and I think that says a lot about the anxiety and impatience to get Stormont (Assembly) back up and functioning again,” Coveney told Irish broadcaster RTE.

“I think we can make progress (in the negotiations) very quickly,” said Coveney, who will co-chair the talks from Monday.

The middle ground surge cost the DUP two of the 10 seats it had won in 2017, while Sinn Fein just about retained its seven seats. A near 7 per cent decline in its overall share of the vote marked the biggest decline for any party in the province.

Sinn Fein’s decision to stand aside in three constituencies to boost better-placed opponents of the DUP only partly accounted for the reverse.

Both the DUP and Sinn Fein said frustration over repeated failed attempts to return to the devolved assembly had pushed voters to the more moderate pro-Irish SDLP and cross community Alliance Party, who won the last three seats on a much increased share of the vote.

If such a result were repeated in the multi-seat election for the devolved assembly — which London has said should take place if the talks do not succeed by mid-January — the SDLP and Alliance Party would greatly increase their presence in the regional parliament.


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