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Scottish Secretary Alister Jack earlier this month suggested a generation could be “25 or 40 years”, although polling has indicated Scots support holding a second referendum if pro-independence MSPs win a majority at Holyrood next year. During Business Questions, SNP Commons spokesman Tommy Sheppard raised the comments made by Alister Jack.
He said: “Sadly, the current Scottish Secretary just burrows further into his bunker.
“He declared this week that Scotland should not be able to consider this matter again for another 40 years.
“At least Donald Trump waited until after the election before denying the result.”
But Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg responded: “(Mr Sheppard) perhaps doesn’t see the irony of what he has just said.
“There was an election in 2014 and I’m afraid it is (Mr Sheppard) who is the Trump of Scotland because he is denying that result.
“He’s trying to say that it didn’t happen. He’s trying to say that the people of Scotland in their wisdom didn’t vote to remain in the United Kingdom.
“May I beg to remind him that the people of Scotland voted to remain and at that time the SNP leadership said it was generational and that is why my Right Honourable friend the Scottish Secretary is right to say that it must be for a generation.
“It mustn’t be that (Mr Sheppard) can say that he doesn’t like the result and therefore he’s going to sulk and complain and moan and object because the people of Scotland have spoken.”
Michael Gove also insisted a generation must pass before a second Scottish independence referendum can be considered.
The Cabinet Office minister was pressed by the SNP’s Kenny MacAskill (East Lothian) about the “inevitability” some senior Tories believe there is over another independence poll.
But Mr Gove said six years on from the last referendum is too soon, given SNP leaders had previously described the 2014 ballot as a “once-in-a-generation” event.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr MacAskill said: “Even senior Tories are accepting the inevitability of a second referendum.
“And as (Irish nationalist Charles Stewart) Parnell once said, ‘no man has the right to fix the boundary to the march of a nation’.
“Scots have learned, as the Secretary of State will know from the trickery of 1979 when even the dead were counted against.
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“Does the Secretary of State not then realise that the people of Scotland will not accept political chicanery on the number or nature of the question to be asked?”
Mr Gove replied: “He makes a very, very important point.
“It’s absolutely vital we have confidence in the integrity of our democratic institutions and that’s why the Electoral Commission and other bodies play such an important role.
“But of course it’s also important people can have confidence in the promises made by politicians.
“And it was the case in 2014 that Nicola Sturgeon and other leading Scottish nationalists made the point that that referendum was for a generation.
“Just six years later, I do not believe a generation has passed.”
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