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Scottish nationalist leader says UK “living on borrowed time”

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 08:57 GMT, Oct 18, 2015 |
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The United Kingdom is “living on borrowed time” if the British government fails to listen to Scottish voters, Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon said.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has seen a surge in support since Scots voted by 55-45 percent last year to reject independence.

The party won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats in the Westminster parliament in May’s general election.

Sturgeon said that boost was being driven by the government’s failure to deliver on a promise of more powers for Scotland, as well as pushing ahead with austerity and renewing Britain’s nuclear deterrent despite Scottish opposition.

“Right now, what people see at Westminster is the Tory government failing to fully deliver on the vow it made on more powers for our parliament. They see aTory government continuing to impose austerity on working people and the disabled, way beyond anything required to reduce the deficit, and in spite of Scotland electing 56 anti-austerity MPs,” Sturgeon said.

“So my message to David Cameron today is exactly the same as it was when I met him after the general election,” Sturgeon said. “What happens to support for independence in the months and years to come will depend as much on what you do as it will on what we do. And right now, you are living on borrowed time. If you continue to ignore Scotland’s voice, if you continue to disrespect the choice that people across this country made in May, more and more people will conclude that Westminster simply cannot deliver for Scotland.”

Sturgeon has previously said the SNP will include triggers for a second referendum in its manifesto for Scottish elections in May 2016.

She has warned that if Scotland is taken out of the European Union against its will in a referendum on British membership due by the end of 2017, then it could seek a second independence referendum.

Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out a second vote.

The SNP says the government has failed to deliver on a promise of more powers for Scotland, made in the final days of campaigning ahead of last year’s vote after opinion polls showed a surge in Scottish separatist support.

The government will amend planned legislation on extra powers for Scotland to ensure the permanence of Scotland’s devolved parliament Holyrood, Cameron said.