Nicola Sturgeon won't rule out independence referendum if Scotland are forced into EU exit

The SNP leader says "no politician has the right to stand in the way" of another vote

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Indy Politics

The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has issued a stark warning to her political opponents this morning, stating that "no politician has the right to stand in the way" of another independence referendum if Scotland votes to have a re-run.

Speaking at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Sturgeon said: "Two questions I get asked often these days - will there be another independence referendum and, if so, when?"

"My answer is simple. It will be if and when the Scottish people decide and not a moment before."

The Scottish First Minister was responding to David Cameron’s remarks that he has ruled out any new referendum in the foreseeable future.

“I think it is important that a referendum is legal and properly constituted and that is what we had, and it was decisive,” said Cameron, “so I do not see the need for another one.”

But the PM's sentiments were echoed by Scottish Secretary David Mundell, the country’s only Tory MP, who said on Monday that he does not believe "it is for the SNP themselves to determine whether the people of Scotland are in favour of having another referendum".

However SNP politicians have been quick to disagree with the Conservatives, with Alex Salmond, former SNP leader and now a sitting MP, arguing that without further devolution to Scotland, and some drastic changes in spending cuts, the mood in Scotland may well be set for a "yes" vote if asked again.

Another key sticking point for the SNP will be the upcoming EU referendum, in which the Scottish Government is arguing for a 'double majority' provision. If this were to be agreed upon, the UK could only leave the EU with a majority yes vote in each UK nation too.

With a possible EU Brexit on the cards, Sturgeon made clear that if Scotland looked set to be forced to leave the EU against its will " it would not be at all surprising if that caused a swell of demand for a further independence referendum."

Nicola Sturgeon’s comments today will likely worry Westminster parties, who are keen to avoid another referendum debate. With 56 out of 59 of Scotland’s MPs from the nationalist party, and opinion polls putting the SNP on course for a landslide victory at Holyrood come the Scottish Parliament election in May 2016, independence just won't go away.

"No politician can impose a referendum on Scotland, no matter how much some of us would like Scotland to be independent," argues Sturgeon, but "if the Scottish people do vote in future to have another referendum, no politician has the right to stand in their way."