Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has threatened the Prime Minister David Cameron with a new Scottish independence referendum unless he fails to deliver more powers to the Scottish parliament, of which she just happens to be First Minister.
In the run up to the general election when polls predicted a second hung parliament, Mrs Sturgeon’s party were touted as kingmakers in waiting. But in the event, the Conservative party won a small majority. Consequently Mrs Sturgeon’s SNP colleagues took their seats on the opposition benches in the House of Commons this week merely as members of the third largest parliamentary party. They immediately caused consternation by taking selfies on the green benches, flying in the face of parliamentary rules and decorum.
Yet Mrs Sturgeon is unwilling to give up her role as the Scottish terrier snapping at the heels of Cameron’s British bulldog. Speaking in the Scottish parliament yesterday she revealed a shopping list of demands which she plans to put in front of Mr Cameron under threat of a second independence referendum.
The demands include control over economic measures including the minimum wage, national insurance contributions and business taxes, as well as over welfare spending north of the border and equality policies, according to the Times.
Addressing the Scottish parliament she said: “I can’t impose a referendum against the will of the Scottish people, but nor can David Cameron rule out a referendum against the will of the people. It will be the people who decide.
“And what happens to public opinion on this question in the years ahead will depend not just on what the SNP and the Scottish government do, but also on the respect shown to the decisions the people of Scotland have made.
“How David Cameron, his government and the Westminster system choose to respond to the message Scotland has sent will be crucial to how we move forward.”
Last September’s Scottish independence referendum, which asked the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” ended in defeat for the Yes campaign by 44.7 percent of the vote to the No campaign’s 55.3 percent.
As the results for keeping the status quo rolled in, Sturgeon told ITN: “What is clear is that Scotland has changed. It will never be the same again … because of the very strong appetite that we’re seeing for change.”
Warming to her attack dog role, Mrs Sturgeon has also turned on the Scottish Labour party, which she challenged to support her, saying that she the Scottish TUC’s backing for her drive to make the Scottish parliament a regional powerhouse.