‘Smoke screen’ Nicola Sturgeon’s Indyref2 plot to hide ‘many failed policies’ exposed

Shailesh Vara says second referendum is 'smoke screen' by SNP

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Conservative MP Shailesh Vara unveiled First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s strategy of hiding “failed policies” behind her independence bid in a slap at her governance. In her speech announcing the second referendum, Nicola Surgeon made clear she would seek Scotland’s independence by any means – with or without Westminster’s consent. MP Vara claims this is just a ruse. Speaking to Sky News, he slammed: “Frankly, as far as I can see, this is just a smoke’s screen by the SNP because of so many failed policies at Hollywood.”

When asked whether Boris Johnson’s Government will allow the Scottish Government to have a second referendum, Conservative MP Shailesh Vara said: “I think some of you said after the last referendum, this was a decision to be put away for a generation.

“And frankly, at a time when Europe is at its most dangerous since the Second World War, at a time when people are wondering where their bread is coming for their next meal, there’s so much important issues in this country. Rising prices of energy, cost of living, and so on.

“I think the idea that we should be talking about independence is not one that will be welcomed by people.”

In April 2021, the Scottish Conservatives launched the party’s Holyrood manifesto in which its leader Douglas Ross said Scotland cannot rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic with the “threat” of a second referendum getting in the way.

Upon launching the manifesto, the Tory MP claimed that Nicola Sturgeon would “wreck” Scotland’s economy if she moved ahead with her Indyref2 plans.

But Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP party’s landslide victory in May 2021 and her subsequent electoral victory in the May local election propelled her to press ahead with her independence pledge on Tuesday. 

In a speech launching what she called a “refreshed” case for independence, she said her Government has an “indisputable mandate” for a second independence referendum.

“That means if we are to uphold democracy here in Scotland, we must forge a way forward, if necessary, without section 30 order. For the reasons, I’ve set out already, however, we must do so in a lawful manner”, Ms Sturgeon said.

Without Westminster backing the referendum or agreeing to transfer powers to Scotland, Ms Sturgeon’s referendum could be legally void.

That would endanger the second phase of her plan to join the European Union, as all EU countries may not recognise the result of an illegal referendum.

In a slap at Boris Johnson’s Government during Wednesday’s PMQs, SNP’s leader Ian Blackford made the case to leave the UK, pointing to the Northern Ireland conundrum: “(We’re) now on the thread of a trade war with our European friends triggered by a law-breaking Prime Minister.”

“It’s not a vision for the future of Scotland. Our nation is big enough, rich enough, smart enough. Isn’t that the case, Prime Minister, that Scotland simply can’t afford to remain trapped in the failing Westminster system?”

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Whether Nicola Sturgeon can “forge ahead” with a second referendum in October of next year without a section 30 order remains unclear.

While revealing the referendum’s timeline, SNP’s Scottish Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “I see no reason for the UK Government to deny a section 30 order.

“This is the procedure that was agreed in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum, the gold standard of holding a recognised, agreed, constitutional referendum.”

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