SNP members back Scottish Government plans for indyref2 at ‘earliest’ possible moment after pandemic
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for another referendum by the end of 2023 when the coronavirus crisis is over, despite fierce opposition from the UK Government.
Now party delegates have endorsed that timescale, backing a motion by 535 votes to 10 that sets out plans for another vote “as soon as it is safe to hold a proper, detailed, serious national debate on independence”.
Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution and External Affairs Angus Robertson MSP said: “There is a cast-iron democratic mandate for an independence referendum, with the SNP receiving the highest share of the vote and the strongest electoral endorsement in the history of devolution in May’s election.
“I am delighted that conference has now backed this motion to pass the Draft Referendum Bill and ensure that Scotland’s future will be put into Scotland’s hands with a referendum for recovery.
“We are already seeing plans for Tory cuts as they slash Universal Credit and plans to hike up National Insurance, taking from those that need it most.
“Scotland cannot afford another decade of Tory austerity – we have already seen the devastating impact cuts can have on the most vulnerable in society as the Tories build their vision of recovery on the backs of the poorest in society.
“That is on top of Brexit and the massive damage it is causing being foisted on us by Boris Johnson. Independence will give us the chance to re-join a market around seven times larger than the UK, with all the huge opportunities it will bring.
“We cannot trust the Tories to protect the future of Scotland. That is why it so important Scotland has the choice to forge a different, better path with independence.”
It came as Andrew Wilson, who chaired the sustainable growth commission for Nicola Sturgeon, told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show he believed having a vote in either the autumn of 2022 or at some point in 2023 would be “ideal”.
“I am not in a rapid hurry to do it tomorrow.”
“I think the ideal time to have a referendum would be in the autumn of next year or the year after.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union called for the SNP to focus on the needs of the country.
She said: “The SNP leadership should spend more time listening to the country and less time listening to its supporters.
“It’s insulting that any politician would think planning for a divisive second referendum is a good use of parliamentary and government time and resources.
“The people of Scotland want their governments to bring people together and prioritise the NHS, jobs and the climate emergency – and the Scottish Government should focus on using the wide range of powers it has to build the recovery.”
The UK Government has been approached for comment.
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