British PM rejects Scotland's request for independence referendum powers

In a photo taken on July 29, 2019, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House in Edinburgh, Britain.
In a photo taken on July 29, 2019, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House in Edinburgh, Britain.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday (Jan 14), refusing her request to be given the powers to hold another Scottish independence referendum.

As things stand, a referendum cannot take place without the consent of the United Kingdom government.

Ms Sturgeon wrote to Mr Johnson in December asking him to enter negotiations on transferring the power to hold a referendum from London to Edinburgh.

"I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums," Mr Johnson wrote in a letter which he posted on Twitter, telling Ms Sturgeon she had agreed that a 2014 referendum, in which Scots opted to stay in the United Kingdom, would be a "once in a generation" vote.

"Another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade... It is time that we all worked to bring the whole of the United Kingdom together."