Scotland may rejoin UK if they vote to leave says commentator
The SNP released an 11-point plan last week stating they would hold another vote if a pro-independence majority of MSPs was returned in May’s Holyrood elections whether a Section 30 order granting it from London was forthcoming or not. Despite Boris Johnson’s refusal to allow Scotland a second referendum, political columnist Peter Hitchens said he should “let them go”. He claimed that the country might return to the UK in the future.
Speaking to talkRADIO, Mr Hitchens said: “I don’t think that it’s now possible for us to prevent a second referendum and I would be very surprised if that second referendum doesn’t vote to leave.
“I think it’s quite possible that Scotland might come back voluntarily into a union with England.
“But I don’t think it will come back if we try and block its attempts to leave now.
“If we get ourselves into a great wrestling match saying, ‘you can’t hold a referendum’.”
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He added: “Let them go if they want to.”
It comes as Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said an independence referendum held without the permission of Westminster would be illegal.
Mr Jack told the BBC another vote without express permission would be illegal.
He said: “I’m afraid the constitution is a reserved matter, it would be an illegal referendum, let’s be clear about that.”
The Scottish Secretary said it was “not the time” for another vote on the constitution in Scotland, reiterating that senior figures in the Yes campaign and its own white paper said the vote was “once in a generation”.
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He added: “We can’t go into a process of ‘neverendums’ until eventually, they get one that they win, that’s not what responsible government is about.
“We had a referendum in 2014, we’re now in a global pandemic, we’re going to have double-dip recession the way things are going.
“It’s about recovering our economy as one United Kingdom, pulling together, doing the trade deals we want to do, improving Scotland’s economy and rebuilding it as quickly as we can, and after we’ve saved people’s lives with this vaccine, then saving their livelihoods.”
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “The Tories sound more rattled by the day and it’s clear they are completely out of ideas and excuses.
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“Trying to block a democratic mandate is an indefensible and untenable position – the bottom line is the Tories are panicking as they run scared of a referendum they fear they will lose.
“It’s not for Alister Jack, or his boss Boris Johnson, to deny the people of Scotland the chance to determine their own future. That choice belongs to the people of Scotland and any Trump-like attempt to deny that would be utterly undemocratic – and would not hold.”
Mr Jack’s comments come just days after the Prime Minister touted the strength of the Union on a visit to Scotland.
When asked about the visit, Mr Jack said it was essential, adding it was “morale-boosting”.
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