Sturgeon’s IndyRef 2 plans rubbished by Gordon Brown ‘People have other priorities’

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Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that if her party wins the next Holyrood election the SNP will hold a second independence referendum. However, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted this would be unfair to the democratic process. While speaking on the Today Programme with Martha Kearney, he claimed the people of Scotland have other priorities right now.

He noted, in addition to the pandemic, Scottish people are focussed on jobs and young people’s future rather than independence.

Ms Kearney said: “Ms Sturgeon would say the answer is to have independence.

“She is now saying, in a shift of position, that if the SNP win in May, we will hold a referendum.

“Won’t she have a democratic mandate for that?”

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Mr Brown insisted the people of Scotland had other priorities than independence at this time.

He said: “I am afraid Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party see the whole future of the United Kingdom in terms of a battle between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“What I would emphasise is that people in Scotland, despite their dissatisfaction with how their country is governed feel Scottish and British.

“That has not really changed a huge amount.”

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Ms Kearney retorted that regardless of this fact, recent opinion polls show growing support for independence.

She again asked if the SNP wins the Hollyrood election whether they would have a democratic mandate to hold a referendum

Mr Brown replied: “No, I don’t think so.

“People in Scotland are worried about the virus, they are worried about jobs, they are worried about the future of young people.

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“This is their priority at the moment and anything that diverts from that at the moment and holding a referendum right now in the midst of a virus when you can’t even have public meetings or door to door canvassing would seem quite unfair to the democratic process.

“I don’t think there is a huge support for holding a referendum in Scotland now.

“I think people have other priorities and I do believe we can put the argument properly of the United Kingdom and what we have in common.”

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