Sturgeon’s plot for ‘illegal referendum’ to backfire – EU membership at risk

Nicola Sturgeon 'full of her own importance' says Muldoon

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Mujtaba Rahman, Europe Managing Director at the Eurasia Group, highlighted that the legal route to a vote is unclear. He added that were a referendum to be held illegally, an independent Scotland would face difficulties trying to become a member of the Brussels bloc.

The SNP has doubled down on its insistence that a vote will be held before the end of next year.

It remains unclear how this will be held, given that opposition persists at Number 10, which holds the power to grant a vote.

Responding to the launch of a new independence drive, Boris Johnson urged Scotland’s First Minister to “respect” the 2014 vote.

The Prime Minister said: “The decision was taken by the Scottish people only a few years ago, in recent memory.

“I think we should respect that.”

Angus Robertson said the route to a referendum would be laid out in the coming weeks.

The SNP’s Constitution Secretary told the BBC: “I am fully content that with the prospectus beginning to be rolled out, with the announcement that will follow on the route map on how that is going to be achieved, that we have a perfectly adequate window of opportunity both for legislation to be passed, for the opportunity for the people to scrutinise the prospectus that the Scottish Government will publish.”

The Times highlighted that the latest announcements around an October 2023 vote “did not contain any details about how a referendum could be legally held”.

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Mr Rahman responded to the news in a post on Twitter, drawing attention to the uncertainty of events as they currently stand.

He wrote: “[It is] very unclear how a legal [referendum] will be delivered.

“And an illegal one will undermine Scotland’s case for EU membership.”

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The SNP has long argued the benefits of becoming independent of the United Kingdom and tying itself to the European Union.

Ms Sturgeon earlier this month suggested Scotland would “undoubtedly” have voted for their country to leave the UK in 2014 had it known Brexit was around the corner.

But businessman Kevin Hague dismissed this as “nonsense”.

He wrote in a post on Twitter that Scottish voters would, in fact, have been more likely to vote “No” had they been aware of the coming decline in North Sea oil profits.

Mr Hague said: “How many ‘Yes’ voters would have changed their votes if they had known annual oil revenues forecast by the SNP to be £6.8-7.9billion would turn out to be effectively zero?”

He pointed to figures which showed the actual revenue was below two percent of the early estimate, though revenues have since begun to rise.

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