The SNP leader has vowed to hold a new vote on Scotland’s future in the UK if there is a majority of pro-independence parties after Thursday’s Holyrood elections. Any vote must be sanctioned by the Prime Minister, who has made it clear he will refuse consent on a new referendum.
Ms Sturgeon has vowed to call Mr Johnson’s bluff and hold a new independence vote regardless of approval from Westminster.
She said the SNP would plough on with preparation for a fresh vote and would dare the Prime Minister to challenge the vote in court.
Ms Sturgeon told Sky News: “I’m saying if Boris Johnson wants to stop it, he would have to take legal action.
“If Boris Johnson didn’t do that, by definition it would be a legal referendum.
“If he did do that, the courts would decide.”
The latest claims on a new independence referendum come just 48 hours before the Scottish Parliament elections and act as a rallying call to SNP supporters.
Ms Sturgeon said she did not believe any legal action would be necessary as Westminster would have no choice but to give consent to a fresh vote if Scottish voters returned a majority of independence supporting MSP.
“We’re getting ahead of ourselves here because I believe that if the people of Scotland vote for this, if the support for independence continues, then it is not sustainable for any Westminster Prime Minister to stand in the way,” she said.
“Boris Johnson is not somebody that is immune to democracy.
“This argument that people in Scotland can vote for that, that they can demand a referendum, they can vote for the SNP over and over again, but somehow a Westminster Prime Minister can simply stand in its way, it’s not going to be sustainable, but it also, in the process, perhaps makes the biggest argument for independence there is.”
However, in a blow to Ms Sturgeon’s argument, a Savanta ComRes survey conducted between April 16 and 20 found Scottish voters would support the Prime Minister simply refusing a new vote.
The poll of 1,0001 Scottish adults aged 16 and over found 44 percent of Scots would accept Mr Johnson’s decision to oppose a fresh vote, compared to 33 percent who said they would not support the Prime Minister.
Ten percent said they did not know, and 13 percent said they neither agreed nor disagreed with Mr Johnson rejecting a referendum.
Crucially, nearly one in five SNP supporters (17 percent) said they would back the Prime Minister’s decision.
More to follow…