Laura Kuenssberg interview
After Covid, after Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon wants Scottish voters to turn their minds again to the independence question.
In the courts, her party is trying to get permission to hold another referendum. In politics, she is using every opportunity to make the most of the Tories’ disarray to suggest that the risk of staying in the UK is greater than the many uncertainties of independence.
But when it comes to how she will make that happen, she herself this morning admitted that her options are “limited”.
Despite her political dominance she does not have a sure-fire way of securing another vote, nor, if she wants to treat the next general election as a question on independence, does she have any guarantee that a future UK government would see it that way.
It’s also true as we talked about this morning, that there is a sizeable difference between the proportion of the public who want independence, and those who want a vote soon.
In short, there is no massive public clamour for a referendum on her timetable. And polls for years now have shown the public to be roughly split down the middle.
Nicola Sturgeon’s statement that she ‘detests’ the Tories may appeal to some of her supporters. But it could raise eyebrows for others – many Scots worry about a return of a vicious debate.
Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has branded the SNP’s focus on breaking up the UK as myopic, in response to Nicola Sturgeon’s interview with Laura Kuenssberg this morning.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, RIGHT, said: “It is hard to think of a time when the challenges facing the people of Scotland were larger, but sadly Nicola Sturgeon has proved again that the SNP-Green government is simply not interested.
“The SNP have been focussed on breaking up the UK for all of their 15 years in office. Given the record waits in A&E, people struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, that obsession with breaking up the UK is nothing short of myopic.
“The SNP’s latest wheeze of a de facto referendum at the next General Election will sound ridiculous to families struggling to pay their bills. The next election will be a chance to change our country’s future, not relitigate the divisions of the past as the SNP seek to do.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats would put action on the cost of living, A&E wait times and replacing our ageing ferry service first, not waste vital time and effort on breaking up the UK.”