Demand for a Scottish independence referendum will become “irresistible” if the SNP wins the majority of Scottish seats at the General Election, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Scotland’s first minister, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, outlined her intention to hold another vote on independence in 2020.
She said the idea that politicians at Westminster can stand in the way of Scots being given a choice on their future is starting to “crumble”.
She 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.
“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.”
Sturgeon suggested Labour is already “pretty much conceding” it could not stand in the way of a second independence vote, adding: “I suspect it won’t be too much longer until we see the Tories struggle to maintain that argument, as well.”
The first minister has previously said she feels “confident” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn would grant another independence referendum if he is elected prime minister.
Corbyn has said his party does not support independence for Scotland and does not believe a referendum is either “desirable or necessary” – although senior figures within Labour have indicated the party would not stand in the way of a second ballot on the issue.
Sturgeon made the comments as she penned an open letter to Remain voters across the country.
In it, she warned of the impact that Brexit will have and outlined the importance of making “Scotland’s voice heard”.
She wrote: “After the last few years, I can fully understand if you feel scunnered. Everyone is fed up with this Westminster mess.
“Scotland didn’t vote for this Tory Government, and we didn’t vote for Brexit – but the Tories don’t care about Scotland and are dragging us out of the EU against our will. The Westminster system has shown itself to be broken.
“This isn’t some academic debate – Brexit will profoundly affect you, your family and your community.
“It will harm our economy and our living standards, and it will limit the opportunities of our young people. And it also poses a real threat to public services such as our NHS.
“I believe that our best future would be as an independent country, though I understand that not everyone shares that view. But what I do know is that we can only realise our enormous potential as a nation if we escape from Brexit and decide for ourselves what kind of country we want to be.
“That’s why your vote in this election is so important. If we sit back and do nothing, our future will be decided for us by Boris Johnson and by governments we didn’t vote for.
“We must come together in this election and make Scotland’s voice heard – and the best way to do that is to vote SNP. In every seat in Scotland held by the Tories, it is the SNP who is in second place – so only the SNP can stop the Tories and deprive them of a majority.”