'Democracy will prevail': Scottish Parliament vote in favour of IndyRef2

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman

The Scottish Parliament has passed the Referendums (Scotland) Bill - effectively agreeing that IndyRef2 should be held if the prime minister allows it.

It came after Nicola Sturgeon formally wrote to Boris Johnson, demanding a new referendum on Scottish independence.

The Bill, which passed by 68 votes to 54 in Holyrood Thursday evening, sets out what the rules for the referendum should be, however it is accepted that MSPs would have to approve more legislation before a vote could be held.

Scotland’s First Minister published Scotland’s Right to Choose, a paper that puts forward the “clear democratic case” for a Section 30 order from the UK Government.

She claims "democracy will prevail" and due to her "unarguable" mandate.

But Prime Minister Johnson, as he has repeatedly said he would do, is expected to reject Ms Sturgeon's demand, which would transfer the power to Holyrood to hold an independence referendum.

She says her resounding general election win in Scotland, which brought her 47 of the 59 Scottish seats in Westminster, put "Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands".

She said if Mr Johnson wants to reject her request, he must set out "why he does not believe people in Scotland have the right to self-determination".

The release of the paper comes as the Prime Minister is due to set out his agenda with the Queen’s Speech on Thursday, laying out his legislative agenda.

Meanwhile, the Referendums (Scotland) Bill, which will lay out parameters for future votes, is expected to pass at Holyrood on the same day.

Speaking at Bute House, her official residence in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said: "The alternative is a future that we have rejected being imposed upon us.

"Scotland made it very clear last week it does not want a Tory Government led by Boris Johnson taking us out of the European Union.

"That is the future we face if we do not have the opportunity to consider the alternative of independence."

Last week’s election victory was the third in succession for the SNP after majorities in Scotland in 2015 and 2017.

She said: “The result of last week’s General Election makes that mandate unarguable.

“So, with the publication of this document, we lay out the detailed case for putting Scotland’s future into Scotland’s hands.”

Ms Sturgeon said she would push for a “legitimate” vote.

Nicola Sturgeon has demanded a new independence referendum. Credit: PA

Independence supporters said in 2014 that another vote should only be held if there is a “material change” in the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK, such as leaving the EU without a majority in favour in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: “There is no doubt whatsoever there has been a material change in circumstances since 2014.

“Today I urge people in Scotland to rally round the case for Scotland’s right to choose – our right to self-determination.

“It is not the time for Scotland to give up on reasoned and democratic argument but to pursue it ever more confidently.”

In recent days, leading figures in the Scottish Labour Party have indicated their support for another referendum, with the First Minister calling for unity on the subject at Holyrood on Tuesday.