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On Saturday, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reignited her bid for a break from the rest of the UK at the SNP’s annual conference. She told supporters “independence is in clear sight” and boldly declared Scotland is “now a nation on the cusp of making history”. Ms Sturgeon believes a second vote on independence can take place after the Scottish elections in May 2021 – if her party is able to win and secure a majority.
Boris Johnson has refused to grant Holyrood the powers to hold a second vote, but the SNP and Ms Sturgeon have continued to make their case for another referendum.
The “Yes” vote has come out on top in a series of polls on whether Scots would now favour independence, but that support appears to be falling.
A poll from YouGov from November 6-10 among 1,089 Scottish adults found the “Yes” vote had a narrow lead of 51 percent to 49 percent. It was the 14th poll in a row suggesting the majority of Scots are in favour of independence.
And a poll from Ipsos MORI from October 2-9 of 1,045 Scottish adults previously found 58 percent of Scots were in favour of breaking away, compared to just 42 percent who backed staying in the Union. This had been the biggest poll lead ever recorded for the pro-independence side.
But Mr Galloway, who earlier this year set up Alliance 4 Unity, a campaign group with over 18,000 followers on Twitter aimed at ousting the SNP from power and ending hopes of a second independence referendum, has now claimed, “we are winning the argument”.
He told Express.co.uk: “It was always going to be a very tall order to convince people as canny as the Scots to take this leap into the euro and into the terms of satisfaction of joining the euro.
“In the wake of the pandemic and economic consequences, it is even harder for the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon.
“The threat is there and that threat of separatism will never go away, but I believe we are now winning the argument.
“Scots are now beginning to calculate the cost of being separated from the rest of the UK.
“There are simply not enough benefits of leaving the UK and the subsequent cost would be far too great.”
The former Labour MP also demanded the SNP and Ms Sturgeon drop their plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence in 2021 and instead focus on helping Scotland bounce back from the devastating impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Scotland has recorded more than 90,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with deaths from the virus rising above 3,500 last week.
The Scottish economy grew by just 1.6 percent in September – the smallest increase since a slump during the first coronavirus lockdown when GDP fell by 5.6 percent and 19.3 percent in March and April respectively.
A furious Mr Galloway raged: “The SNP are continuing to shut Scotland down over the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s almost 2021, the economy has been devastated, thousands of people have died and they want to have another referendum in 2021, which is just around the corner. You really couldn’t make it up.
“Calling another referendum so soon after the last one is irresponsible but to do so in the current climate is a sign of absolute madness.
“The idea that we could do it in the circumstances when we don’t even know if the Holyrood elections next May will go ahead and how that will work.
“How can you even think to schedule something so divisive and destructive as another separatist referendum in those circumstances?
“They need to get on and do their day job.”
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