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UK PM Johnson rejects Sturgeon's request for independence referendum powers

FILE PHOTO: Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon attends a general election campaign event in Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday refusing her request to be given the powers to hold another Scottish independence referendum.

As things stand, a referendum cannot take place without the consent of the UK government. Sturgeon wrote to Johnson in December asking him to enter negotiations on transferring the power to hold a referendum from London to Edinburgh.

“I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums,” Johnson wrote in a letter which he posted on Twitter, telling Sturgeon she had agreed a 2014 referendum, in which Scots opted to stay in the United Kingdom, would be a “once in a generation” vote.

“Another independence referendum would continue the political stagnation that Scotland has seen for the last decade ... it is time that we all worked to bring the whole of the United Kingdom together.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Elizabeth Piper