Willie Rennie claims Lib Dems 'ready to win' in Scottish election
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Scotland’s Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie argued that there is less desire for an independent Scotland now and a referendum on the issue. While speaking on STV with Colin MacKay, Mr Rennie insisted the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon had “lost control” of the nationalist movement. He insisted that post-coronavirus Scottish people wanted to focus on rebuilding back better rather than independence.
Mr Mackay said: “Do you think the threat to the union is diminishing?
Mr Rennie replied: “I think the support for independence is on the decline.
“And I think at the heart of that is that people are exhausted with the last 10 years of arguments of independence and the pandemic in the last year.
“They want to focus on recovery. And that’s what we want to do.
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“But we’ve also seen the arguments within the SNP. The SNP have lost control of the nationalist movement.”
Mr Rennie added: “They have lost control of the strategy. And I think, therefore, it’s causing people to be alarmed that the strategy is going to lead to an early referendum.
“That is what the SNP are arguing for, which is what people in Scotland do not want.”
The SNP has vowed to hold a second independence referendum if the party wins a majority at the Scottish Parliament elections on May 6.
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Both Nicola Sturgeon with the SNP and Alex Salmond of with his new Alby Party have faced criticism for attempting to push for independence during the pandemic.
Former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage argued that both party leaders would rather Scotland rejoin the EU than simply be independent.
While writing in the Telegraph, he said: “The crucial distinction between the political struggle in which I was involved to unshackle Britain from the EU and the movements run by Salmond and Sturgeon is that neither of them actually wants to achieve Scottish self-determination.
“Both of them are EU fanatics and their primary objective is for Scotland to join that bloc.”
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He continued: “To be both an independent state and a member of the EU is incompatible on many levels.
“For this reason, it is obvious that a Sturgeon or Salmond-led independent Scottish government would have to hand over to Brussels control of vast swathes of Scotland’s public and economic structures.
“Yet entering into a submissive relationship of this nature would mean that Scotland had no right to call itself a truly independent country at all.”
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