LONDON (Reuters) - Scotland must move on from its failed bid for independence, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday, using the first anniversary of an historic referendum to rule out holding another vote on the issue.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has seen a surge in support since Scots voted 55-45 percent to reject independence in September last year, winning 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats in the Westminster parliament at May’s election.
Last week SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the party would include triggers for a second referendum in its manifesto for Scottish elections in May 2016.
“We all agreed, as do the Scottish public, that the independence referendum should be a ‘once in a generation’ or a ‘once in a lifetime’ event,” Cameron said in remarks released by his office.
“So now it is time to move on. Some may want to obsess about separation, but I am focused on delivering devolution.”
Sturgeon has previously warned that if Scotland were 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.
The SNP has said the government has failed to deliver on a promise of more powers for Scotland, made in the final days of campaigning ahead of the Sept. 18 2014 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.
“There is absolutely no doubt: Holyrood is here to stay,” he said. “We are delivering a new, accountable and permanent Scottish Parliament. Holyrood will be one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.”
Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Stephen Addison