Sturgeon blow: Senior SNP politician turns on party saying IndyRef2 would be illegal

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Kenny MacAskill who served as a former justice secretary under Alex Salmond said that the issue could be decided by the next Scottish Parliament election in 2021. In a column in The Scotsman, he added: “For those for whom this nationalist debate is a mystery, it’s code for what’s to be done if Boris Johnson, or any other UK PM for that matter, simply says no to allowing a second vote.

“Of course, it has been ruled out by the Tories but that didn’t stop the mantra chant continuing from the SNP leadership of there being a referendum later this year. “

His comments come after a new poll showed more than half of Scots now back independence.

Think tank Business for Scotland commissioned the Panelbase survey, which questioned 1,070 Scots aged over 16 and found 54 percent back Scotland leaving the UK, while 46 percent oppose it.

But PM Boris Johnson has ruled out any independence referendum whilst he is Prime Minister.

But Mr MacAskill stressed: “As with the second coming of the Messiah, it was to mysteriously arrive, albeit at least specified as being this autumn, not future millennia.

“But now we’re in July and there’s no chance of one this year.

“Coronavirus can be blamed with other priorities and social distancing all impeding, but the truth of it is, there was never any chance of it being held.

“It wasn’t just that the necessary Section 30 order hadn’t been obtained, which is the magical bit of paper from Westminster needed to allow it.

READ MORE: Scottish border panic: Coronavirus infections surge 

“More importantly neither the organisational infrastructure nor the necessary policy platform had been laid.”

Joanna Cherry previously called on Nicola Sturgeon to consider the option if Boris Johnson decides to refuse a second vote.

The MP and lawyer, who is the party’s justice spokeswoman at Westminster said the proxy vote could be an alternative route and clear pathway independence as a “Plan B”.

But the East Lothian MP continued: “Running an illegal referendum is a red herring to frighten folk. It just can’t be done.

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“Either it needs to be signed off with an S30 or it needs to be conducted under an alternative approved method.

“It was simply a way of closing down debate by frightening folk with the spectre of anarchy, let alone Catalonia. Hopefully, this test case will offer some insight.

“But if you rule out an alternative method then you leave Johnson with a veto and that’s simply unacceptable.

“There’s a chance that yet another SNP victory next year would see him fold as Scotland being the final disengagement from an Empire that started unravelling a century ago with Ireland and that has seen the Union Jack lowered across the globe.”


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