Politics

Alex Salmond hands Sturgeon independence plot to snatch IndyRef2

Brexit 'driving the desire' for IndyRef2 says Stephen Gethins

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Nicola Sturgeon is pulling her whole weight behind an effort to force through a second Scottish referendum through the Supreme Court after multiple failed attempts at getting it through Westminster. Three successive Conservative Prime Ministers – Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss – have all ruled out granting a section 30 order, dealing a blow to Nicola Sturgeon’s demands. But former SNP leader Alex Salmond says the First Minister could twist Liz Truss’ arm by holding a referendum – regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling – and hope for a pro-independence vote to justify the need for a referendum.

The Alba leader told Talk TV: “In order to get Wstminster to agree to something, you have to have a political threat. 

“You have to present them with an alternative, which is less palatable. 

“And one aspect of that might be for the Scotish Parliament to hold its own referendum.”

Mr Solmond said: “But if you’re going to conduct your own referendum, firstly you want to make sure that it can withstand a court challenge.

“And there are ways to do that.

“But the way to do it is not to say: ‘before we go in for any legislations, we’ll pop off to the Supreme Court and ask for help from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

“The Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament, the national movement should be appealing to the judgement of the people of Scotland – not the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom meeting in the Middlesex Assizes, two minutes walk from the Palace of Westminster.”

Nicola Sturgeon has steered clear from that route, saying she wants the referendum to be legal and internationally recognised with a view to re-join the European Union.

Since Scotland voted against Brexit by 62 percent in 2016, the First Minister has said Scotland was unfairly ripped out of the European Union and repeatedly called for the right to self-determination.

Despite her best efforts, Ms Sturgeon has always hit a brick wall, with Prime Ministers refusing to grant the right to hold a vote on Scottish independence.

Liz Truss made it clear during the summer’s leadership campaign she would ignore the SNP’s request, saying the union must stick together to face ongoing challenges.

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Nicola Sturgeon is now taking the fight for independence in the Supreme Court where she hopes to snatch a victory and hold a legal referendum. 

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC, who represents the Scottish Government, argued the vote would be “non self-executing” as it would not break the United Kingdom by itself. 

But the UK Government law offcier have argued against her case, saying there was “no secret” Scottish ministers would want the vote to lead to independence.

The First Minister hopes to hold the second Scottish referendum on October 19, 2023.

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