Boris Johnson rejects Nicola Sturgeon's push for indyref2

Boris Johnson rejects Nicola Sturgeon’s push for fresh Scottish independence referendum as he says constitutional change is ‘not top of my agenda’

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said constitutional change ‘not top of my agenda’ 
  • Mr Johnson said priority is ‘for our whole country’ to ‘bounce back’ from Covid
  • Nicola Sturgeon wants second independence referendum held by end of 2023

Boris Johnson has dismissed Nicola Sturgeon’s push for a second Scottish independence referendum as he said it is ‘not top of my agenda’. 

The Prime Minister made clear during a visit to Scotland that he has no desire to give the green light to major constitutional upheaval. 

He said his priority is for the whole of the UK to continue ‘bouncing back together’ from the coronavirus crisis. 

Boris Johnson has dismissed Nicola Sturgeon’s push for a second Scottish independence referendum as he said it is ‘not top of my agenda’

Ms Sturgeon had invited Mr Johnson for talks in Edinburgh during his visit to Scotland this week but the PM declined

Ms Sturgeon wants to hold a re-run of the 2014 ballot before the end of 2023.

But she needs permission from the UK Government for another official vote to take place. 

Mr Johnson has repeatedly objected to the idea of holding another ballot, arguing the first vote was supposed to be a once in a generation event. 

The Prime Minister said yesterday: ‘I think the priority for our country as a whole is bouncing back together, working our way forwards from this pandemic together, and I think the opportunities are absolutely phenomenal.

‘But the emphasis, I think, has got to be on economic recovery and I think constitutional change, it’s not top of my agenda, let me put it that way.’ 

He stressed his priorities were ‘bouncing back strongly from Covid, working together on that, continuing to deliver the vaccine’.

Other issues where people want action, such as tackling county drugs lines gangs, also need to be tackled across the whole of the UK, he added.

Mr Johnson insisted: ‘You can see the way the UK has to work together to do this.

‘There are a huge number of things that we need to do together and that’s what I want to focus on.’

The Tory leader said his Government was ‘focused on jobs and on economic rebound, and green economic growth’.

He added he was ‘looking forward very much to continuing our work with the Government in Scotland’ – even though he turned down an offer to meet Ms Sturgeon during his trip.

He said politicians across the UK were ‘working together to get through the pandemic and to build back better’.

Mr Johnson stated: ‘I think that is the priority that the British people seem focused on from where I sit.’

Ms Sturgeon has said she wants an independence referendum to be held once the coronavirus crisis is over. 

Michael Gove, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, recently suggested the PM could eventually soften his stance on holding a vote. 

He suggested Westminster would not stand in the way of a referendum if wanting to hold one was clearly the ‘settled will’ of voters. 

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