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Westminster politicians are blocking calls for a second Scottish independence referendum because they fear the outcome, Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.
The Scottish First Minister was speaking the day after the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament did not have the power to legislate for a vote on independence without the Treaty of Westminster.
Speaking during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon insisted: “Unionist Westminster politicians want to silence Scotland’s voice because they are afraid of what Scotland might say. It’s pretty simple.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his two predecessors rejected the SNP’s demand for indyref2, and Ms Sturgeon accused them of “blocking democracy”.
He said: “Any politician who was confident of their case and of being able to persuade others of their case would not try to block democracy, they would embrace democracy.”
The First Minister was asked by SNP backbencher Stephanie Callaghan for her reaction to the Supreme Court ruling – Ms Sturgeon said it showed the UK was no longer a voluntary partnership of nations.
He told MSPs: “Yesterday’s judgment raises deeply uncomfortable questions about the foundations and future of the UK.
“Any partnership in which one partner requires the consent of the other to choose his own future is not voluntary and is not a partnership.
“At the moment within the UK England can decide to become independent but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland supposedly cannot.”
With a majority of pro-independence MSPs at Holyrood, the First Minister continued: “The mandate for an independence referendum in this Parliament is undeniable, there is a clear majority for it.”
He said he was ready to discuss the issue with the UK government “at any time”, but added: “I fully expect their denial of democracy to continue, at least in the short term, because they fear a democratic outcome.
“Regardless of Westminster’s attempts to block democracy, I will always work to ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard and that Scotland’s future is always in Scotland’s hands.”