Scottish independence: Struan Stevenson discusses open letter
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A Redfield and Wilton Strategies poll revealed 47 percent of Scots would vote no if the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?” was put to them immediately. This is compared to 44 percent who said they would vote “yes” if there was a referendum whilst 9 percent said they were not sure.
The poll also revealed a significant divide amongst the Scottish public over the question of a vote happening in the next year.
Of those surveyed 47 percent said they would oppose a referendum on Scottish independence being held in the next year, with 33 percent opposing strongly.
However, 40 percent said they would support such a referendum being held in the next year, with 29 percent expressing strong support.
A further 11 percent of Scots would neither support nor oppose a referendum being held in the next year.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a vote should take place before the end of 2023 and has stressed constitutional matters would be addressed once the Coronavirus pandemic is over.
But this week, Ms Sturgeon was accused of breaking her promise to the Scottish people after it was revealed the SNP September conference will be heavily focused on separation sparking fears a vote could take place much sooner.
The draft agenda revealed plans for a new campaign to persuade Scots that breaking up the UK was “essential” to the country’s recovery from coronavirus.
The document also states that the First Minister must pull the trigger on her plan for Holyrood to legislate for its own independence vote at the earliest opportunity after the pandemic passes.
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Pamela Nash, chief executive of pro-union campaign group Scotland in Union, said: “This is yet another poll which shows a majority of people in Scotland want to remain part of the UK.
“Rather than obsess about how to divide communities and put people’s livelihoods at risk, the government should remain focused on the many years of recovery ahead.”
A Scottish Conservative party spokesperson added: “The majority of Scots want the Scottish government to focus on Covid recovery and rebuilding our communities.
“The biggest threat to that is the SNP’s obsession with holding another reckless referendum within the recovery phase.”
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Despite the pleas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out the prospect of a second independence referendum.
During a visit to Scotland this week, he declared: “I think the priority for our country as a whole is bouncing back together, working our way forwards from this pandemic together, and I think the opportunities are absolutely phenomenal.
“But the emphasis, I think, has got to be on economic recovery and I think constitutional change, it’s not top of my agenda, let me put it that way.”
The UK Prime Minister stressed his priorities were “bouncing back strongly from Covid, working together on that, continuing to deliver the vaccine”.
Kirsten Oswald MP, deputy leader of the SNP group at Westminster, said: “It becomes clearer by the day that Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under Westminster control.
“The only way Scotland can secure a strong and equal recovery, and reach its potential, is through a referendum for recovery and by becoming an independent country inside the EU.”
Redfield and Wilton Strategies polled 1,000 Scots between August 4 and 5.
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