IndyRef2: Expert on Queen’s ‘subtle intervention’
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Senior Fellow at the think tank, UK in a Changing Europe, Professor Nicola McEwen reflected on how Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP would deal with the royals subtly intervening on the independence debate. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Professor McEwen said the SNP would make the argument that splitting from the Union did not mean splitting from the monarchy. She added that making this distinction would allow Scottish voters to focus solely on the issue of independence rather than on whether members of the Royal Family were in favour of Scottish independence.
Professor McEwen said: “Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP will deal with the royals in a similar way that they did in 2014.
“Which is to emphasise that independence is about leaving the political union.
“The monarchical union is not part of the independence package.
“I would expect that to be emphasised in any new independence prospectus that was to come around.
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“Scottish independence is not about removing the Queen or becoming a republic, that is not part of the package.
“It was on offer in 2014 and it is very unlikely to be part of the package in the foreseeable future.”
Professor McEwen closed by emphasising that there is no clear evidence the royals swayed the vote in independence vote in 2014.
She said: “There is no evidence to suggest that the Queen’s subtle intervention ahead of the referendum had a decisive influence either way.”
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Professor McEwen noted that Ms Sturgeon’s push for independence may get more support if Boris Johnson makes a few key errors.
She said the Westminster Government wants to be seen to be doing more in Scotland.
However, she highlighted this could cause tensions between the SNP and Westminster.
She added these tensions could damage the UK’s Government’s plans to keep the union together by making the issue of independence a Scotland versus Westminster battle.
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“The other risk here is that at the moment independence is an issue that divides Scotland.
“It is a debate within Scotland and the risk for the British Government and Boris Johnson is that he allows it to become a fight or a contest between the Scottish Government and the UK Government.
“That would change the optics of that battle and we know from years and years of data that there is far more trust in the Scottish Government in Scotland than in the UK Government.”
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