Sturgeon shamed: SNP warned Indyref2 bid this year could ‘wreck recovery’ for Scotland

Question Time: SNP MP says Scotland is ‘lowest rate of UK’

Following an increase in support for Scottish independence, SNP leader Ms Sturgeon has demanded a second referendum vote this year. But Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Tories, has lashed out at her “rash” and “self-indulgent” plans.

The Scottish Conservatives Twitter account quoted Mr Ross as saying: “Escalating their plans for indyref2 is rash and incredibly self-indulgent when the country is struggling through another lockdown.

“The SNP’s shameless push for another referendum this year would wreck our recovery from the pandemic.”

Despite the Scottish public taking to the polls in 2014 and voting to remain part of the UK, Ms Sturgeon said a second referendum should be held in the “earlier part” of the next Scottish Parliament term.

She said in November last year: “I think the referendum should, for a whole variety of reasons, be in the earlier part of the next parliament.

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“I intend to say more about this before the election in our manifesto, but we are still in a global pandemic that I feel a bit more hopeful about seeing the end of that than I did even just a couple of months ago.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead.

“I’m a life-long believer and campaigner and advocate for independence, bit right now I’m also the first minister of Scotland.

“My responsibility is to the health and wellbeing of the country and trying to steer it through a pandemic and I’m very focused on that.”

Yesterday, Scottish Tory MP Tony Miklinski claimed Ms Sturgeon only puts forward the emotional case fo independence but has failed to provide a detailed economic plan.

He told Express.co.uk: “Nicola Sturgeon knows perfectly well the scale of the £8 billion a year that Scotland gets from the UK Government plus the employment from civil service and defence etc.

“The overall financial impact on Scotland would be very significant and none of her papers either SNP produced or otherwise has explained how the economy would function.

“If she was serious about this she would detail all that and she would have a good case to present.

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“She does not do that, she relies on the emotional case that enough Scots will romantically, passionately want an independent Scotland come what may.”

He continued: “So she does not consider alternatives or the best value for money for the Scottish taxpayer.

“She just considers what will independence be and at that point, if she ever gets it, she will say job done and walk away and leave someone else to pick up the pieces.

“She is not open to what a leading politician should be open to, which is compromise.

“She just wants to deliver independence full stop.”

Former Scottish First Minister Lord Jack McConnell also said Scots “will be choking on their breakfast” at the thought of another independence vote this year.

Earlier this week, the SNP were called out for the timing of their ‘independence taskforce’.

Unionists claimed it showed the SNP was deeply “out of touch” given people’s concern about coronavirus, the vaccine rollout and economic recovery.

MSP Anas Sarwar, who is standing to be Scottish Labour leader, said: “The SNP’s priorities are wrong.

“Right now, political leaders should be focused on the coronavirus crisis, the vaccination programme and creating stability for the people of Scotland.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, what is needed is a taskforce on jobs, health and education – not on independence.”

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