Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon willing to discuss vote delay
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 20, 2017,
Mar 20, 2017, 17:21
The survey of 2,000 voters was carried out on Wednesday and Thursday after Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to stage a second independence referendum to give voters a choice between leaving the United Kingdom and a "hard Tory Brexit".
For May, it's an opportunity to benefit from a tougher line on Scotland in her England heartlands where polling shows there's resentment about perceived special treatment for the Scots.
She will say: "The coming negotiations with the European Union will be vital for everyone in the United Kingdom".
In a 2014 referendum, Scottish voters rejected independence by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
"The tunnel vision that the SNP has shown today is deeply regrettable".
We can not have a referendum when all that is known is what legal deal has been agreed.
The destination - eventual European Union membership - is clear but the journey remains uncertain, especially given the uncertainty over the timing of a second Scottish referendum on independence, said one senior SNP figure, though he refused to be drawn on specifics.
She has also softened her stance on the timing of a second independence vote, implying she would be willing to discuss something later than the spring of 2019 which she had first proposed. Mrs May's fundamentalist interpretation of the Brexit referendum-that it requires departure from the EU's single market and an end to free movement to and from the continent-ignores the concerns of Scots, who voted to remain, and creates an intractable problem for Northern Ireland, which shares a land border with the EU.
Though, as mentioned, the moral argument is unassailable when it comes to the right of the Scottish government to hold a second referendum on independence as a outcome of Brexit, there are compelling technocratic arguments standing in the way of an independent Scotland being able to do so in a way that is economically viable.
"What would be unfair is to deny people in Scotland their choice".
At the same time Scotland would also find itself outside North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the main Western alliance.
As we head to a second independence referendum Wood points out that Scotland has historically accounted for 9-9.5% of UK GDP, "though that share has fallen recently as the Scottish economy has underperformed the wider UK".
Ms Sturgeon wants the vote to take place at some point between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, when Brexit negotiations will be entering their final, fraught phase. Sturgeon says Scotland must not be "taken down a path that we do not want to go down without a choice".
She described the Conservatives as the party of the new center-ground of British politics, rejecting the extremes of Labour's socialist left, UKIP's libertarian right, and the "divisive and obsessive nationalisms" of Plaid Cymru (the Party of Wales) and the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party).
This is the "Barroso doctrine" - that if any part of an existing EU country becomes an independent state it has to apply for membership - and the European Commission has just reconfirmed that Scotland would be subject to this rule.
'The status quo has been overtaken by events because unless powers now with the European Union are repatriated from Brussels to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the regions, Whitehall will have perpetrated one of the biggest power grabs by further centralising power. employment and energy.
"Nicola Sturgeon began her speech by attacking Gordon Brown, who helped to lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty".
But some caution against focusing too much on the minority of Yes voters who backed Brexit, arguing that the best case for another referendum is Brexit itself, as most Scottish voters were against it.
However, the SNP's Michael Russell, minister for United Kingdom negotiations on Scotland's place in Europe, indicated that he hadn't been consulted.