Boris Johnson has warned against making 2020 the “year of two referendums” – after Nicola Sturgeon claimed calls for a fresh vote on independence would be “irresistible” if the SNP wins the election in Scotland.
As the General Election campaign officially got under way, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon restated her desire to have a second vote on independence next year.
And with Labour pledging to have another Brexit referendum if Jeremy Corbyn is elected into Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: “Let’s make 2020 the year of investment and growth, not the year of two referendums.”
Mr Johnson made the plea after meeting the Queen following the dissolution of Parliament – marking the formal start to campaigning in the run-up to the December 12 poll.
The PM urged voters to back the Tories to “get Brexit done and unleash the potential of the whole United Kingdom”.
Speaking outside Downing Street, he said: “If I come back here with a working majority in Parliament, then I will get Parliament working again for you.
“On day one of the new Parliament in December, we will start getting our deal through so we can get Brexit done in January and unleash this country’s potential.
“We’ll put uncertainty behind us. Families and business will be able to plan.
“Let’s make 2020 the year of investment and growth, not the year of two referendums.”
But the SNP leader earlier urged voters north of the border to “have their say and make their views known”.
Ms Sturgeon, who was campaigning in Alloa on Wednesday, said: “It is my intention to have a referendum next year.
“On this question of will Westminster allow it or not, we are at the start of an election campaign – this is an opportunity for the people in Scotland to have their say and make their views known.
“If the SNP win this election, I think that demand becomes irresistible.”
Ms Sturgeon suggested Labour is already “pretty much conceding” it could not stand in the way of a second independence vote, and added: “I suspect it won’t be too much longer until we see the Tories struggle to maintain that argument as well.
“This idea that for self-interest reasons Westminster politicians can stand in the way of people in Scotland choosing their own future, we already see that start to crumble.’”