The United Kingdom is “living on borrowed time” if the British government fails to listen to Scottish voters, SNP chief Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday (18 September), the first anniversary of an historic independence referendum.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has seen a surge in support since Scots voted by 55-45 percent in September last year to reject independence, winning 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats in the Westminster parliament at May’s election.
Sturgeon said that boost was being driven by the government’s failure to deliver on a promise of more powers for Scotland, as well as pushing ahead with austerity and renewing Britain’s nuclear deterrent despite Scottish opposition.
“What happens to support for independence in the months and years to come will depend as much on what you do as it will on what we do,” Sturgeon will warn Cameron in a speech later, according to extracts released by her office.
“Right now, you are living on borrowed time. If you continue to ignore Scotland’s voice, if you continue to disrespect the choice that people across this country made in May, more and more people will conclude that Westminster simply can’t deliver for Scotland.”
Sturgeon has previously said the SNP will include triggers for a second referendum in its manifesto for Scottish elections in May 2016.
She has warned that if Scotland were taken out of the European Union against its will in a referendum on British membership due by the end of 2017, then it could seek a second independence referendum.
Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out a second vote.
“We all agreed, as do the Scottish public, that the independence referendum should be a ‘once in a generation’ or a ‘once in a lifetime’ event,” Cameron said in remarks released by his office.
“So now it is time to move on. Some may want to obsess about separation, but I am focused on delivering devolution.”
The SNP has said the government has failed to deliver on a promise of more powers for Scotland, made in the final days of campaigning ahead of the 18 September 2014 vote after opinion polls showed a surge in Scottish separatist support.
The government will amend planned legislation on extra powers for Scotland to ensure the permanence of Scotland’s devolved parliament Holyrood, Cameron said.
“There is absolutely no doubt: Holyrood is here to stay,” Cameron said. “We are delivering a new, accountable and permanent Scottish Parliament. Holyrood will be one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.”