Well Nicola Sturgeon proved me wrong today and I couldn’t be happier.
Credit where credit is due, I really did believe that we would be looking at a longer delay and more clarity before the SNP would give an indication of where Indy2 sat in their planning. Nicola said,
independence was Scotland’s “route to avoiding the worst of the damage brexit will do” and said another vote should be held “in the lifetime” of the current Scottish parliament, which is due to end in 2021. The last referendum took place in 2014 and delivered a vote against independence. The SNP leader said she would bring forward legislation this year to pave the way for another referendum. (The Independent)
Nicola went on to say that:
“To rush into an immediate decision before a Brexit path has been determined would not allow for an informed choice to be made. However, if we are to safeguard Scotland’s interests, we cannot wait indefinitely. “That is why I consider that a choice between Brexit and a future for Scotland as an independent European nation should be offered in the lifetime of this parliament. “If Scotland is taken out of the EU, the option of a referendum on independence within that time scale must be open to us. That would be our route to avoiding the worst of the damage Brexit will do.”
I would have liked to have heard more on what is going to happen if Westminster, as we all expect, refuse to agree to another referendum which they 100% will. They know that the next referendum will be a close call when the starting point is at least 45% for yes and not the 20% in 2012 when the last one was called. So what happens then, do we go to the Courts? Do we hold a consultative referendum? Do the SNP fight another election seeking a mandate? Do we call UDI? These are all questions that I hope will be answered in due course and soon.
There is still the chance that the UK will agree a deal with the EU that makes indy2 difficult to hold or even ends it happening any time soon and would be held is better than should be held but should be held is better than nothing. However, today I definitely and unashamedly say sorry in part to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP that I got it wrong, I really thought there would be no clarity today other than another delay in the independence journey. As I have stated above, there are still many questions needing answered, more clarity is required, but at least we have a direction of travel and I will certainly do what I can as we move forward.
Here are some reactions to the statement, more clarity is the answer but positive overall.