British PM rules out second Scottish independence vote

Election success for Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party in Scotland leads to fears of new independence referendum

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

British Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out a second referendum on Scottish independence following his election victory last week despite Nicola Sturgeon’s secessionist Scottish National Party (SNP) taking the vast majority of seats in Scotland.

Speaking at Victory Day celebrations marking the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II, Conservative party leader Cameron called on Scotland to maintain “respect and trust” at the heart of the British system.

“Scotland voted emphatically to stay in the United Kingdom, which was an affirmation of what a great country this is," Cameron said, referring to a previous referendum organised by the former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond in September.

Although only 44.7 percent of Scots voted “Yes” in the referendum while 55.3 percent voted “No,” the growing popularity of the SNP was shown last week when the SNP won 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland.

A recent survey by Sky News also found that the younger generation in Scotland may vote for independence in the future, with 55 percent of Scots expressing the belief that Scotland will become independent in their lifetime.

"There isn't going to be another referendum. We had the referendum and the SNP aren't pushing for another referendum, actually. Nicola Sturgeon said that vote in the General Election was not about another referendum,” Cameron continued.

"Now what we need to do is bring the United Kingdom together. We are going to do that by delivering the devolution settlement in Wales, delivering the devolution settlement in Scotland, keeping all the pledges that were made."

SNP leader Sturgeon also admitted a second referendum is not on the cards, but at the same time has said the election results show that Scotland has "voted for change and that has to be heeded."

"Our manifesto set out very clearly that we would want to move to full fiscal responsibility; clearly, that will take a number of years to implement,” she said.

"What we will argue for is priority devolution of powers over business taxes, employment, the minimum wage, welfare, because these are the levers we need to grow our economy faster; to get more people into work paying taxes and lifting people out of poverty."

However, a spokesman from 10 Downing Street speaking on behalf the Prime Minister said there were no plans to increase powers for Scotland.

"The Prime Minister has been clear that the right approach to further devolution in Scotland is as set out in the Smith Commission and agreed by all the parties. The focus now should be on delivering those," the spokesman said.

Prior to the general elections, the Conservative Party announced it would introduce new legislation to block Scottish MPs from setting the tax rate in England.

Under new laws set to come into effect in March 2016, English lawmakers will be able to veto issues relating only to their own constituents and the rate of income tax paid in England will be set by the English.

TRTWorld and agencies