Boris Johnson slams ‘deranged’ SNP in independence row
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The document, put together by Scotland Constitution Secretary Mike Russell, would effectively dare the UK Government to challenge another referendum in court. But Pete Wishart, who has been a Nationalist MP for 20 years said it would be “more likely” to happen next year in the latest showing of division within the party as to when a vote would exactly take place.
When probed about Mr Russell’s comments that another independence vote could happen by Christmas despite the COVID-19 crisis, Mr Wishart said there was “no reason why we couldn’t have an independence referendum this year”.
But the Chair of the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee then stressed: “The conventional view from all of us who have an interest in this is it’s much more likely that it will be what Nicola said: the first half of the next parliamentary term.
“While it’s possible this year, what’s more likely we are looking at a gate in that period.”
Following the response, Mr Wishart was asked if he was suggesting 2022 for a vote and added: “Yeah”.
He concluded to The Herald: “We all know everybody is so excited about dates and you’re trying to draw me into suggesting a possible date but there are so many variables in this thing, it’s difficult to confine this to a specific point.”
It comes after SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford insisted Indyref2 “must take place in 2021”.
Speaking in November, Mr Blackford said: “We need to demonstrably show that the people of Scotland are determined that they will have their say and in the first case, we have to win this election for the people of Scotland.
“To be able to be respectful to those who are not currently with us that we’re appealing to join us; about that denial of democracy that is currently taking place and to affirm that it is the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future; and come what may, we will prevail.
“That referendum must take place in 2021.”
However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it would happen in the “early part” of the next Holyrood parliament without specifying a specific date.
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An SNP source said: “We will set out the precise steps of a future independence referendum in due course.”
Boris Johnson has repeatedly ruled out another Scottish independence vote – after Scotland voted to remain part of the UK in 2014.
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