‘Obsessed’ SNP blasted over new plan to force indyref2

Sturgeon clashes with reporter over independence questions

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The SNP has been blasted for its “obsession” with Scottish independence after unveiling new plans to force a second referendum. The party will introduce a Bill in a bid to allow the Scottish Parliament to hold its own ballot.

The SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn MP, who took over from Ian Blackford earlier this month, said the move would “unlock Westminster’s denial of democracy”.

But Scottish Conservative leader Douglass Ross hit out at the SNP’s latest push for a fresh referendum.

Mr Ross told Express.co.uk: “The SNP may have a new leader at Westminster, but their self-obsessed fixation with the constitution remains unchanged.

“It tells people everything they need to know about SNP priorities that – in the midst of a global cost-of-living crisis, with Scotland’s NHS on its knees and threats of strikes in numerous sectors – they devote an opposition-day debate to trying to move the goalposts on holding another independence referendum. It’s as predictable as it is wearisome.

“Stephen Flynn is clearly intent on playing to the Nationalist gallery, rather than focusing on the real priorities of the people of Scotland.”

The new plans, set to be announced today, will seek to take over the House of Commons Order Paper on January 10 next year, and present the SNP’s new Scotland Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill.

This new Bill aims to amend Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998, which details what Holyrood can and cannot legislate on, which includes “the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England” and “the Parliament of the United Kingdom”.

The bid to seize control of Commons business is likely to be vehemently opposed by the Government and therefore stands virtually no chance of success.

The fresh indyref2 bid comes almost a month after the Supreme Court ruled the Scottish Parliament cannot hold a second independence referendum without Westminster approval in a major setback for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Mr Flynn said: “We will use our Opposition Day to put forward the Scotland Act 1998 (Amendment) Bill and seek to take control of Parliament’s order paper to unlock Westminster’s denial of democracy.

“The mechanism, which will seek to amend the Scotland Act 1998, will allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum and reject any attempts by Westminster to impose a roadblock on Scotland’s democratic journey to independence.

“The people of Scotland have already voted for a referendum and now is the time for one.

“That is a democratic reality that politicians at Westminster must wake up to.”

Mr Flynn’s comments come after Scots backed independence in a fourth poll in a row.

The YouGov survey of 1,090 Scottish voters found 47 percent would vote for breaking away from the UK in another referendum, while 42 percent support staying in the union.

The SNP’s Westminster leader added: “Four polls in a row now show majority support for independence, but with both the Tories and Labour joined at the hip in blocking democracy, it cannot be business as usual at Westminster.”

In response to the SNP’s plans, a UK Government spokesperson said: “People in Scotland want both their governments to be concentrating on the issues that matter most to them – like growing our economy, getting people the help they need with their energy bills, and supporting our NHS.

“As the Prime Minister has been clear, we will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government to tackle our shared challenges.”

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