Scotland’s first minister made the assertion in a telephone call with the prime minister on Sunday evening, despite senior Conservative figures questioning her mandate.
Sturgeon has already signalled her readiness for a constitutional battle, saying her government would legislate for the vote “and if Boris Johnson wants to stop that he would have to go to court”.
Earlier in the day, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, accused her of forcing a legal battle over a second referendum to distract from her party’s failure to secure a majority by one seat.
Ross told journalists that “within hours of the polls closing [Sturgeon] had resorted to her usual message of division”.
Asked whether the UK government would take the Scottish government to court if it pushed on with legislation for a second referendum – as Sturgeon has said she plans, after the Covid crisis has passed and preferably by the end of 2023 – Ross said that is was more important to focus on the competency of the Holyrood parliament, suggesting that the matter was unlikely to reach the courts.
“Let’s just look at what the Scottish parliament has the powers to do right now,” Ross said. “I do think Nicola Sturgeon is focusing her argument on a hypothetical court battle about getting something through the Scottish parliament that currently it doesn’t have any competency over, to distract attention from the fact that she has on two occasions failed to secure a majority government.”