The United Kingdom would not hinder another referendum on Scottish independence if it is the "settled will" of voters, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said.
Westminster has repeatedly rejected requests from the Scottish government for the necessary powers to hold another vote but the Cabinet Office minister said if the public desire a second referendum, "one would occur."
The comment comes in the wake of a decline in support for independence.
Following around six months of consistent polling showing majority support for separation last year – with one poll going as high as 58% in favor – the tide began to turn at the beginning of 2021.
The most recent survey by Panelbase for the Sunday Times found only 48% of the 1,287 respondents supported leaving the UK.
Gove told the Sunday Mail: "The principle that the people of Scotland, in the right circumstances, can ask that question again is there. I just don't think that it is right, and the public don't think it is right, to ask that question at the moment. If it is the case that there is clearly a settled will in favor of a referendum, then one will occur."
It is unclear what would convince the U.K. Government that another vote is the "settled will" of Scots, but it could potentially mean positive election results for independence parties or continuous polling in favor for a certain period of time.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said he believed May's election to be an indicator that the "settled will" of the Scottish people is in favor of independence.
The SNP fell just one seat short of a majority in Holyrood in the election and are currently in talks with the Scottish Greens over an alliance on certain issues.
Blackford said: "It should not be news that the Tories are finally waking up to the fact that the people of Scotland have expressed their democratic wishes in an election that they want their future to be put into their hands. The fundamental point Michael Gove missed is that the people of Scotland have spoken and expressed their settled will that they want to hold a referendum when they elected a majority of independence-supporting MSPs to the Scottish Parliament just over two months ago. If Boris Johnson continues to ignore the mandate given by the people of Scotland to hold a referendum then he will continue to tell the people of Scotland that their opinion does not matter. That will only push support for independence up."
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.