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Watch out Boris! Scotland could see IndyRef2 this year warns Ian Blackford

GMB: Andrew Neil slams Ian Blackford on inquest comments

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The SNP’s Westminster leader claimed the party plan to enact a Bill calling for a referendum on Scotland’s independence shortly after this year’s Holyrood election. Should the SNP win a majority, which polls indicate, they could enact the Bill in June allowing for a referendum the same year.

Mr Blackford explained the “key” for 2021 referendum would be creating the circumstances for the vote, which he wants “as quickly as is practically possible”.

He added: “Of course we’ve got to get the election out the way, we need to make sure that the SNP are elected back into government again, that we reinforce that mandate for a referendum.

“There’s a Bill that will be published over the coming weeks and that can be enacted once we’re on the other side of the election.

“Of course what I would say is that the first priority of the Government is dealing with the Covid crisis, it’s about keeping people safe, it’s about the acceleration that we’ve seen with the vaccine programme, it’s about taking off the measures of lockdown as and when we can.

“But we do that based on data, we do that based on evidence, we do that based on keeping people safe.

“When we’ve got to that position of safety, that would be the right time to have the referendum.”

Referencing Scottish Constitution Secretary Mike Russell, Mr Blackford said triggering a Bill calling for a referendum in June could mean the contest would be held the same year.

Speaking in January, Mr Russell said: “Best practice for referendums suggests that six months should expire between the legislation and the referendum.

“That six months is because electoral administrators need time to put in systems, but I do hope the new parliament moves without too much delay to that.”

Mr Blackford also accepted a referendum Bill could be delayed pending coronavirus and other issues.

In a warning to the Prime Minister, Mr Blackford said Mr Johnson “cannot stand in the face of democracy” in the event that the SNP wins a majority in the Scottish Parliament elections in May.

He added: “Democracy has got to prevail and there’s been a long-held, cherished position that in Scotland sovereignty rests with the people.

“There’s never been a situation in Scotland that sovereignty has rested with Westminster, has rested with Parliament, and you can go right back to the Declaration of Arbroath, the claim of right and everything that’s gone around that, that does demonstrate that in the end, it has to be about the will of the people, to be able to choose their own future.

“And I’d say to Boris Johnson or anybody else in the Tory party that they cannot stand in the face of democracy, they cannot stand in that will of the Scottish people to see their sovereignty enacted, to have that discussion, to have that debate and to make that determination as to whether or not we wish to be independent.”

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A Savanta ComRes poll published yesterday for ITV showed 53 percent of those surveyed support Scottish independence.

They surveyed a total of 1,008 Scottish adults between February 18 and February 22.

However, the support for independence fell from 58 percent, according to Savanta ComRes’ poll in October.

Another Survation poll, released on Sunday, saw 50 percent support independence.

The SNP are also set to win a majority in the Scottish Parliament elections, according to a poll from Ipsos MORI for STV News.

Of those who said they will vote, 52 percent are likely to vote for the SNP in the constituency vote at the Holyrood elections, a fall of three percentage points since last November.

Just 23 percent said they would vote for the Scottish Conservatives and 15 percent back Scottish Labour.

The regional list also gives the SNP a majority, with their vote share 47 percent and the Conservatives on 22 percent.

Ipsos MORI surveyed 1,031 adults conducted by telephone between February 15 and 21.

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