Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has defiantly said that the country achieving independence will be a “when, not an if” – despite voters opting out of breaking the 307-year old union with England on 18 September.
Sturgeon, who is tipped to take over from Alex Salmond when he steps down in November, more devolved powers for Scots will only convince voters that they are able to govern themselves.
“There is no going back – and much as they might have wanted to, Whitehall politicians and mandarins cannot put us back in a devolved box,” said Sturgeon.
“The word ‘devolution’ is no longer adequate, for that describes a process of handing down carefully circumscribed powers from on high to a relatively passive people.
“Scotland is now more politically engaged and assertive than at any stage of the democratic era.”
On 18 September 55% of Scots voted against independence while 45% wanted to break the union.
All political parties urged voters to reject independence in exchange for greater devolutionary powers over spending and taxation.
While Salmond said he wouldn’t call for another referendum, he then announced he would step down in November, only shortly after the results would be announced.
He has since attacked Westminster for “tricking” voters with promises of further devolution.
Meanwhile, the leader of the pro-union Better Together campaign, Alastair Darling, asked Sturgeon to rule out another referendum following her comments in the Scottish Left Review.
“In the circumstances, achieving 45% and 1.6 million votes for an independent Scotland was remarkable, and in my opinion will be judged in days to come as the moment which determined that independence was a question of ‘when, not if’,” said Sturgeon.
“Put simply, the more responsibilities we can demonstrate Scotland is capable of successfully discharging – and the more these are used to build a fairer country and more economic opportunity for all – the less people will heed the siren voices claiming that to go further would cause the sky to fall in.”
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