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Scots have the right to choose independence, says Shona Robison

20 March 2017, 05:21 | Winifred Adams

Nicola Sturgeon has warned the Prime Minister her opposition to a second independence referendum will this week become "democratically indefensible" as she tabled a motion at the Scottish Parliament asking for the go-ahead.

For May, it's an opportunity to benefit from a tougher line on Scotland in her England heartlands where polling shows there's resentment about perceived special treatment for the Scots.

In response to that, Theresa May has repeatedly said "now is not the time" for another vote on Scotland's future.

Brown was the main architect of the "Vow", a cross-party promise of more powers for Holyrood, which many believe boosted the No vote ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in September 2014. We have left the European Union therefore our trade policy is X, our immigration policy is Y, our environmental policy is Z, for ever.

At that point a fair, legal and agreed referendum - on a timescale that will allow Scotland an informed choice - ceases to be just my proposal, or that of the SNP.

This "watering down" of the SNP's European Union policy was allegedly first discussed at a strategy meeting in mid-January, according to the Sunday Times.

If there's another independence vote - whether according to Sturgeon's calendar or May's - the opposing campaign can't be left to May's Conservatives, said Ian Murray, the only remaining Labour lawmaker for Scotland in the U.K. Parliament.

The Scottish Government's compromise plan, "Scotland's Place in Europe", advocates all of the United Kingdom joining EFTA and thereafter "retaining - or renewing - its membership of the EEA".

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The Scottish Parliament is expected next week to back Sturgeon's call for a new vote. In terms of inward investment, trade, and the diversity it enjoys as a outcome of the free movement of people across the EU, Scotland has been enriched by its membership of an economic and monetary union that suddenly finds its very foundations under threat by dint of centrifugal right-wing forces that have emerged across the continent to an extent not seen since the 1930s.

"It is for (May) then to say what timescale she thinks would be appropriate and then yes I am happy to have that discussion within reason", Sturgeon told the British broadcaster.

It's Sturgeon's job to promote the idea of independence, of course, but she needed a plausible pretext to demand a re-run of Scotland's own referendum so soon.

Ms Sturgeon has said she is determined to hold the ballot, setting out a timetable for it to take place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. Sturgeon says Scotland must not be "taken down a path that we do not want to go down without a choice".

A recent YouGov poll also showed that even if another vote was held, 57 percent of Scots would reject independence yet again.

The SNP has opposed the UK Government's austerity, but after independence they would have to implement a much more extreme form of austerity in Scotland.

People have underestimated Theresa May before and I suspect Nicola Sturgeon has just made the same mistake. That is mistaken. There is no prospect of Scotland completing "Scoxit" before Britain leaves the European Union (at the time of the referendum in 2014, an exit period for Scotland of 18 months was pencilled in).

"The SNP have got to face up to the fact that because England is no longer part of the European single market, and we are taking independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, then this British single market is no longer one that Scotland would be part of".



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