Boris Johnson ‘conditions’ Scotland on new voting

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Recent polls have shown consistent support for independence, boosted by rows between London and the devolved governments over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Another Scottish independence referendum should not take place for a generation, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday, as Scotlandโ€™s leader renewed calls for a fresh vote in the wake of Brexit.

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โ€œReferendums in my experience, direct experience, in this country are not particularly jolly events,โ€ the prime minister told BBCโ€™s Andrew Marr Show.

โ€œThey donโ€™t have a notably unifying force in the national mood, they should be only once in a generation.โ€

Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom in 2014.

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Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon at the time called it a once-in-a-generation vote, but now argues that Britainโ€™s departure from the European Union, which a majority of Scots opposed, has changed the game.

โ€œFor too long, successive UK governments have taken Scotland in the wrong direction, culminating in Brexit. Itโ€™s no wonder so many people in Scotland have had enough,โ€ she wrote on her partyโ€™s website on Saturday.

โ€œWe didnโ€™t want to leave and we hope to join you again soon as an equal partner,โ€ she added, in a message to the EU.

Johnson has ruled out holding another vote, but Sturgeon will likely claim a mandate and heap pressure on the prime minister should her party perform well in upcoming local elections.

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When asked why it was fair to hold a referendum on EU membership but not another on Scottish independence, Johnson told Marr: โ€œThe difference is we had a (European) referendum in 1975 and we then had another one in 2016.

โ€œThat seems to be about the right sort of gap.โ€

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