Gove ‘absolutely’ rules out second Scottish independence referendum

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A senior member of Boris Johnson’s government has “absolutely” ruled out allowing a second Scottish independence referendum.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday that the SNP did not have a mandate for such a vote.

Nicola Sturgeon’s party won 48 out of Scotland’s 59 seats in the general election – and she has made clear that she will push for another public vote on the question of Scotland’s place in the union.

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Such a vote is opposed by the Conservatives, something Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated in a phone call with Scotland’s first minister on Friday.

Asked if he was guaranteeing “no ifs, no buts” that the government would never grant a second independence referendum, Mr Gove said: “Absolutely.”

He added: “We had the referendum on whether or not Scotland should be separate from the United Kingdom in 2014, we were told that that referendum would settle the question for a generation.”

Referencing Brexit, Mr Gove continued: “In this general election we have just seen what happens when politicians try to overturn a referendum result and in the same way we should respect the referendum result of 2014.

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“Scotland is stronger in the United Kingdom, you can be proudly Scottish and proudly British together.”

Under the Scotland Act 1998, the Scottish Parliament cannot pass legislation on matters “reserved” for Westminster.

This includes “the union of the United Kingdom of Scotland and England”.

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As the Institute for Government think tank notes, “this is widely interpreted to mean that any referendum relating to Scottish independence would require Westminster approval”.

But it adds: “However, the matter has never been tested in court, so there remains some uncertainty about whether Holyrood could hold an advisory referendum without consent.”

Ms Sturgeon told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that Mr Johnson refusing to grant a second referendum would not be “the end of the matter”.

She said Scotland “cannot be imprisoned in the Union against its will” and it would be a “perversion and subversion of democracy” to deny another public vote.

Michael Gove ‘absolutely’ rules out second Scottish independence referendum

Political reporter @Alan_McGuinness A senior member of Boris Johnson’s government has “absolutely” ruled out allowing a second Scottish independence referendum. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday that the SNP did not have a mandate for such a vote.

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