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Sturgeon mocked for ‘now is time’ IndyRef2 launch as she’s ‘obsessed’ with independence

Indyref2: Nicola Sturgeon announces date of referendum

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Conservative and Labour politicians slammed the Scottish First Minister’s plan to go ahead with a second independence referendum later next year after she announced the plan in Holyrood earlier today. Ms Sturgeon announced that the referendum would go ahead, if it is approved by the Supreme Court, on October 19, 2023.

She claims that the SNP has a mandate from the Scottish people to go forward with a referendum, however her colleagues across the aisle slammed her decision and said she was “obsessed” with independence. Others said that indyref2 was keeping the devolved Government from focusing on Scotland’s pressing issues.

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills for Scotland and Labour MSP Michael Marra said on Twitter: “Due to the First Minister’s statement on her referendum bill the debate tonight on Scotland’s drug deaths has been postponed.”

Labour MP for Edinburgh South Ian Murray responded: “And this is the essence of the problem. Scottish politics is paralysed and this dead cat indy strategy is to deflect from this First Minister’s appalling record in government.”

Scottish Conservatives were equally vocal in their denouncement of the First Minister’s plans.

Speaking in Holyrood following the announcement, Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross claimed Nicola Sturgeon had taken “her eye off the ball once more”.

He said: “The real priorities of people across Scotland are on the back burner. Instead, the First Minister is putting her plans to divide Scotland front and centre.

“Nicola Sturgeon has shown again today that the SNP’s selfish obsession with another divisive referendum is always their top priority. She will use Government time and resources to further her plan to break up the country, just when we need to be pulling together and working as one.”

Mr Douglas said that tackling the cost of living crisis should be the top priority of the Scottish Government, not holding a “potentially illegal referendum”.

The legality of the referendum without a Section 30 order – which can be used by Westminster to allow the Scottish Parliament to hold a legitimate referendum as was done in 2014 – has been called into question.

However, in a surprise move, Ms Sturgeon announced that she had already asked Scotland’s Lord Advocate to refer the matter to the Supreme Court. She then confirmed that the Lord Advocate had approved her request and that the paperwork was due to be filed that afternoon.

Some people believe that Holyrood has the authority to unilaterally authorise the non-binding referendum while others believe that it would need approval from Westminster to approve such a vote. The Court will now decide.

Ms Sturgeon claimed that if the Court backed Westminster it would only strengthen the case for independence. She claimed that, in that case, the SNP would run in the next general election on a single question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

However, other Scottish politicians lashed out at the idea on Twitter.

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Conservative MSP for West Scotland Jamie Greene said: “Nicola Sturgeon: We 100% respect the rule of law and the courts. We’ll have #indyref2 If we can’t because it’s actually unlawful we will claim the courts are wrong and political. We will then say the general election is actually a referendum instead. Erm… ok then #PretendyRef.”

A spokesman for Boris Johnson said that the Prime Minister still thought it was “not the right time” for another referendum but didn’t rule out giving permission for the vote to go ahead.

He said: “Our position remains unchanged that both ours and the Scottish Government’s priority should be working together with a relentless focus on the issues that we know matter to people up and down the country.

“That remains our priority, but a decision has been taken by the First Minister, so we will carefully study the details of the proposal, and the Supreme Court will now consider whether to accept the Scottish Government’s Lord Advocate referral.”

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