Nicola Sturgeon was not far from the truth when she tweeted that the Tories were attempting to "deny democracy". If Johnson could force the UK and its political institution to have his way on Brexit, what is the harm in agreeing to Scotland going for second referendum? Sturgeon was right in observing that Johnson's formal refusal of her request for a referendum to be held later this year was "predictable but also unsustainable and self defeating", and insisted that "Scotland will have the right to choose".

Scottish voters backed remaining in the UK by 55 per cent to 45 per cent in the referendum in 2014. She has already made a formal request last month for the UK government to transfer powers - known as a Section 30 order - to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh that would ensure any referendum is legal. It is worth recalling that her request came after SNP, which forms the Scottish government, won 48 of the 59 seats in Scotland in the UK general election.

In the changed situation, Johnson is trying to hide behind Sturgeon’s earlier promise that the 2014 independence referendum was a "once in a generation" vote. In a way, Johnson was not only pressurising but making sure that no second referendum is held. The reason is simple it would create more problem in implementing the Brexit. The people of Scotland voted decisively on the “promise to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK governments committed to respect in the Edinburgh Agreement."

But now Johnson has been trying to backtrack. He said the UK government would "continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise you made to them". If his observation and offer have the element, then why the people are not believing his assurance? Boris Johnson is presenting himself as a benevolent ruler. “I did not want to see Scotland's schools, hospitals and employment again left behind because of a campaign to separate the UK,” he’s said.

The first minister said: "The Tories are terrified of Scotland having the right to choose our own future. They know that given the choice the overwhelming likelihood is that people will choose the positive option of independence. The Tories - and their allies in the leaderships of Labour and the Lib Dems - lack any positive case for the union, so all they can do is try to block democracy. It shows utter contempt for the votes, views and interests of the people of Scotland and it is a strategy that is doomed to failure."

It is widely believed that public support for Scottish independence has reached a "tipping point" and in this background a referendum can still happen this year. The Scottish Parliament recently backed a motion, pushed through by the SNP-Greens majority, which endorsed a second referendum. Sturgeon said about the British Prime Minister: "He is a democracy denier. And while I can be impatient, I know that how he is behaving will ultimately drive people towards the independence cause.”

It is not that there is no opposition to Sturgeon’s line. But these people are viewed more as the supporters of Johnson than representatives for the cause of Scotland. The issue of bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland is being cited as lack of proper concern of Johnson for Scotland. The bridge has been branded a "vanity project" by Scotland's Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, who called for the £20 billion cost to be better spent elsewhere. Matheson has warned that the crossing would "waste significant money" which should instead be devoted to other "practical, deliverable" projects.

He said: "In both Northern Ireland and Scotland, budget constraints from successive UK Governments, have for a number of years restricted necessary investment in public transport and vital infrastructure and held back progress for our communities."

The move of Sturgeon has also received the support of the Labour Party. Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey said she could back a second vote on independence. She also insisted her party must not “fall into the trap” again of working with the Tories to try to keep Scotland in the UK. Long-Bailey and her fellow Leadership hopefuls, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy, all stressed the importance of Labour winning back support in Scotland as a route back to power across the UK.

Nandy, the former shadow climate change secretary, said: “There is no route to government that doesn’t run through Scotland, but the challenge of this is absolutely enormous.” To a query whether the Scottish Parliament should have the power to stage a legally binding vote on independence, Long-Bailey said: “I’m proud to be from the United Kingdom but as a democrat I have to say that if the Scottish parliament makes the request for a referendum I don’t believe that as a democratic party we could refuse that.”

Almost all the politicians who speak for united UK owe an explanation as towhy people are talking about a second Scottish independence referendum. In September 2015, they had voted against referendum by 55 to 45, but the people are now expressing opinions in favour in referendum. It must be remembered that the people of Scotland never supported the idea of leaving the EU. In its manifesto for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, the Scottish National Party (SNP) argued that “Scotland is being taken out of the EU against our will”. Scotland voted by 62 per cent to 38 per cent in favour of Remain in the EU referendum in June 2016.

The SNP's 2019 General Election manifesto stated that the party intended to hold a second referendum in 2020; it won 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats. Under the Scotland Act 1998, the Scottish Parliament is not allowed to pass legislation relating to matters “reserved” to Westminster, including “the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England”. This is widely interpreted to mean that any referendum relating to Scottish independence would require Westminster’s approval. Now the Scotland people are contemplating moving court to allow them to go for referendum.

Notwithstanding Johnson’s rejection of the demand, the Scotland is planning to go ahead. With Scottish government determined to hold a second independence vote in 2020 it is opined that the Scottish Parliament may bring a bill before the house to get its approval. The reason for reluctance lies in the fact that if Scotland voted for independence, it would most likely be considered a third country.

According to legal expert Nick McKerrell, a referendum bill could be introduced into the Scottish Parliament regardless. If a referendum bill were debated and passed, it would then be open to legal challenge by any citizen based in Scotland or organisation directly affected by Scots law. A consultative referendum has been suggested as an option by a number of constitutional experts. Stephen Tierney from Edinburgh Law School has suggested there is a “plausible, albeit far from irrefutable” argument that the power to hold referendums could be with the Scottish Parliament.

In the eyes of the SNP and wider Scottish nationalist movement, Johnson lacks the democratic legitimacy to govern Scotland. Many nationalists want Sturgeon to call a nonbinding or so-called consultative independence referendum as soon as possible, with the aim of capitalizing on Scottish hostility toward Johnson’s right-wing, pro-Brexit administration. Nevertheless senior SNP politicians believe Johnson, whose personal approval ratings in Scotland have been underwater since the beginning of his premiership in July 2019, will eventually concede another referendum. Scottish nationalists believe Scotland’s 300-year-old union with England is entering its final stages. (IPA Service)