“The only way to protect and strengthen the Scottish Parliament is with independence,” Sturgeon insists
MADRID, 17 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has described the transfer of powers to Scotland as a “disaster”, a catalog that has earned him criticism from different sides of the political spectrum and that further exacerbates tensions with a territory that does not renounce to the celebration of a new independence referendum.
The controversial statements came on Monday in a telematic meeting of Johnson with dozens of Conservative deputies from the north of England. In this meeting, according to ‘The Sun’, the ‘premier’ assured that “the return has been a disaster north of the border” of England.
This return dates back to 1999, when the then government, led by Labor Party Tony Blair, extended Scotland’s powers and authorized the creation of a Parliament in Edinburgh. For Johnson, this deal was “the biggest mistake” of Blair’s time in power.
Downing Street have not denied that Johnson spoke the controversial words and, instead, has insisted that “the prime minister has always supported the return.” However, a source quoted by the BBC has pointed out that Blair “did not know how to foresee the rise of separatism.”
“The return is great, but not when it is used by separatists and nationalists to break the United Kingdom,” said this source, in an attempt to divert the debate that is on the front pages of all British media this Tuesday, especially in Scotland.
Scottish Chief Minister Nicola Sturgeon has advocated framing Johnson’s remarks “for the next time the ‘Tories’ say they are not a threat to the powers of the Scottish Parliament or, more surprisingly, that they support the handover of more skills. “
“The only way to protect and strengthen the Scottish Parliament is with independence,” Sturgeon stressed in a message on his Twitter account.
The leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, Douglas Ross, has been quick to qualify Johnson’s words on the same social network, to point out that “the return has not been a disaster.” Instead, he has reproached the Scottish National Party (SNP) for its “obsession with another referendum”, which has “been a disaster”.
The Scottish elections are already on the horizon, scheduled for May 6, 2021, and in which the SNP will foreseeably once again assert its political dominance. Sturgeon relies on such elections to reinvigorate his call for a rerun of the 2014 consultation, when a majority of voters said ‘no’ to independence.
The central government has ruled out authorizing this second referendum, basically claiming that it is “once per generation”, but Scottish authorities maintain that the scenario has completely changed in recent years mainly due to Brexit, which was opposed by a majority of The scots.
This changing scenario would also be noticed in the polls. A poll published last week by YouGov put the level of support for independence at 51 percent and approval for Sturgeon at 67 percent, down from the 20 percent obtained by Johnson, Bloomberg reports.