Contenders for Prime Minister of the UK oppose referendum on Scottish independence


Rivals for the leadership of the British Conservative Party and the position of Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, on Tuesday reiterated their opposition to a new referendum on Scottish independence.

Truss, who leads the polls ahead of her rival and is the favorite to become British prime minister, has said she will not allow another vote in Scotland on whether Scotland should stay in the UK in 10 years. Sunak, however, said that he could not “imagine the circumstances” in which he would approve the referendum, reports the French news agency AFP.

Truss and Sunak attended a British Conservative event in Perth, Scotland, during the ongoing vote by party members on Boris Johnson’s successor, with one of the main topics of discussion being the Scottish government’s plan to hold an independence referendum next autumn.

In a referendum in 2014, the Scots voted for Scotland to remain within the United Kingdom. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon‘s Scottish National Party (SNP) claims Brexit has changed the constitutional debate and is pushing for another independence referendum. In 2016, the Scots voted for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union.

The Supreme Court in London plans to hold a hearing on October 11th and 12th this year on whether the referendum would be legal without the approval of the UK government, which has so far refused to allow a repeat vote.

“If I am elected prime minister, I will not allow another referendum on independence,” Truss told Conservative Party members at an election event in the Scottish city of Perth on Tuesday to loud applause, according to AFP. “We are not just neighbors, we are family and I will never let our family be divided,” she said.

These days, however, Truss found herself under an avalanche of criticism because of the statement she made years ago about the work ethic in Great Britain.

In a video revealed by the Guardian newspaper, the current foreign secretary also attributes relatively low British productivity to the allegedly poor work ethic of her compatriots.

Britain’s work culture has a fundamental problem,” Truss told government officials. British workers are not sufficiently skilled and dedicated, especially outside London, she said, adding that “a bit more hard work” was needed.

The Guardian did not specify when exactly the statement was recorded, but according to AFP, the recording is said to have originated from the period between 2017 and 2019. The opposition Labor party called Truss’ comments “grossly offensive”.

Truss has previously incurred the wrath of the Scottish Government and civil servant representatives on the Island for her statements. In Scotland, they were disgusted by her statement regarding Sturgeon, who is only seeking attention with her demands for independence, and the unions criticize her for the planned cuts in public sector funding.

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