Politics

Nicola Sturgeon shamed as BBC QT guest brands independence not ‘economically justifiable’

Question Time: Audience member says Indyref2 not ‘responsible’

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A BBC Question Time guest has dismissed calls from Nicola Sturgeon for a second Scottish Independence poll as not “responsible.” She told the show’s panel, which included SNP MEP Jeane Freeman and Labour MP Ian Murray, that as the majority of Scotland’s trade was with the rest of the United Kingdom it was not “economically justifiable” to seek to break up the union. The audience member added that the coronavirus pandemic had only made the economic argument for Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom stronger. 

The audience member said: “Scottish trade to the UK accounts for 60 percent of exports compared with 19 percent to the UK.”

“To the EU I think you meant,” corrected host Fiona Bruce.

The guest continued: “I don’t believe it is responsible for Scotland to try to be leaving the UK right now and attempting to rejoin the EU.

“It can’t be considered economically justifiable.”

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She added: “Let alone pre-Covid and this situation is even worse now.”

It comes as George Galloway, the veteran politician who is now heading up new party All for Unity in Scotland, told Express.co.uk: “The tide is turning on independence.

“This is the fourth consecutive fall, but the biggest fall in support for independence.

“If you include ‘don’t knows’, that support is at 47 percent and that will soon slip to 45 percent, which is what the SNP got in the independence referendum in 2014.”

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He added: “All this huffing and puffing has got them nowhere.

“Six years ago in the referendum, the ‘don’t knows’ broke by a 9:1 margin in favour of remaining in the UK.

“If you add the vast majority of the ‘don’t knows’, which were 10 percent, to our result, then you get more or less the result you got in 2014.”

But despite this new hammer blow for Ms Sturgeon, the poll found the SNP is still on course for an overwhelming result at the Scottish elections in three months’ time.

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Ms Sturgeon’s party is set to be supported by 54 percent of Scots on the constituency vote, with 43 percent backing the ruling party in the regional list.

This would see the SNP return 71 MSPs and sit with a majority of 13 in the 129-seat Scottish parliament.

Chris Hopkins, associate director at Savanta ComRes, said: “Our latest Holyrood poll for the Scotsman has some interesting changes from last month, most notably in the proportions saying the SNP ‘is divided’ rising by six points and, simultaneously, ‘is united’ dropping by eight points.

“These figures naturally have coincided with the ongoing Salmond inquiry and, while there appears to be very little direct impact on the SNP in terms of the Holyrood voting intention, we do see a four-point drop in the indyref2 voting intention, although Yes still lead by six points.”

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