A Senior UK Minister, Michael Gove has stated that a second independence referendum will not be held before the 2024 General Election.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster stated in an interview that the Prime Minister’s priority was to recover from the Covid pandemic.
With 64 seats, the SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority in the 2017 Scottish parliament elections, although Holyrood still has a pro-independence majority.
In her victory speech, Nicola Sturgeon told supporters the result proved a second independence vote was the “will of the country” and said any Westminster politician who stood in the way was “picking a fight with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people”.
But Boris Johnson, in a letter to Ms Sturgeon, argued the UK was “best served when we work together” and called for a conversation about “our shared challenges” in recovering from the pandemic
Now senior government figure Mr Gove said ‘I don’t think so’ when asked in an interview with the Daily Telegraph if there was any circumstance in which Mr Johnson would approve another independence referendum before the next general election, currently expected to be in May 2024.
Asked if his position was that “there will be no referendum before the 2024 election”, he responded: “I can’t see it.”
Mr. Gove said it would be “at best reckless, at worst folly” to hold a vote while rebuilding the UK after the damage of coronavirus.
He added: “The Prime Minister is completely focused on making sure that for the lifetime of this parliament we increase economic opportunity, we provide people with the chance to make more of their lives, take control of their futures.