‘Mad fantasy!’ Nicola Sturgeon’s second referendum bid is doomed to fail, says nationalist

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The SNP fell one seat short of an absolute majority at last week’s Scottish parliament elections. Despite this, with help from the pro-separation Greens, they could still get a second referendum bill through parliament.

However Boris Johnson has warned he will not authorise another vote and is urging Ms Sturgeon to focus on Scotland’s coronavirus recovery.

The British Government agreed to the 2014 referendum which saw Scotland vote to remain part of the UK.

A ‘wildcat’ referendum, staged without Westminster support, could face crippling legal challenges and a potential unionist boycott.

Stuart Campbell, a prominent pro-independence writer who blogs at Wings Over Scotland, warned nationalists are being “conned and taken for fools”.

Referring to a second referendum he wrote: “Boris Johnson – or any other Tory leader – has absolutely no reason to allow one and nothing to fear from refusing.

“Scotland has no influence over him whatsoever.

“The mad fantasy of him bowing to pressure from an international community that stood back and watched Spain beat up and imprison peaceful democratic campaigners doesn’t deserve the dignity of a moment’s consideration from anyone even halfway sane.

“We told you in May 2016 [after the last Holyrood election] that the election result took an indyref off the table for five years and we were proved right. We’re telling you again.”

Mr Campbell is a keen supporter of Alex Salmond, the former SNP leader who has fallen out spectacularly with Ms Sturgeon.

Mr Salmond launched Alba, a new nationalist party, earlier this year but it failed to win any seats.

Arguing Ms Sturgeon will be unable to overcome UK Government opposition he added: “What’s coming now is five miserable years of déjà vu.

“A Holyrood with a pro-indy majority but no will to do anything with it, just like the one we’ve had since 2016 when Sturgeon lost Salmond’s majority.

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“I want no part of the lie they’re going to foist on indy supporters for the next few years.

“I want no responsibility for how people are going to feel as it slowly, gradually dawns on them that they’ve been conned and taken for fools in exactly the same way Tony Blair did to Labour voters 20 years ago.”

The SNP secured 64 seats at last week’s Scottish parliament election versus 31 for the Tories and 22 for Labour.

The remaining seats were split between the Greens and Liberal Democrats, who took eight and four respectively.

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, argued these results don’t give legitimacy for another referendum.

He tweeted: “The Scottish Conservatives have stopped an SNP majority, stopped indyref2 and won more votes than ever before.

“Our supporter went to incredible efforts and all their hard work has paid off.

“Thank you to everyone who trusted us with their votes.”

Unionists point out pro-UK won more constituency votes in total than their nationalist counterparts.

On Thursday the SNP won the Airdrie and Shotts by-election, after one of its former MPs was elected to Holyrood, but with a reduced majority.
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