First Minister says No-Deal Brexit will accelerate indyref2 plans
The First Minister made the comments after she was asked why people in Scotland appeared to be “feart” of change.
She suggested negative Westminster governments attitudes to Scotland could be to blame, before stating she thought Scots liked to understand the details of a future scenario before giving a “considered judgment”.
“I wouldn’t describe my fellow countrymen and women as feart. For generations, of course, we’ve had Westminster governments telling us ‘we are too wee, too poor and too stupid’ and I think with the best will in the world there is bound to be some impact on the psyche of that,” she told an interviewer at an Edinburgh Fringe event yesterday.
“I think we are quite canny. I think Scots want to understand things, they want to get into the detail … I value the fact we have a population that is there to study things and understands things and make considered judgemnts. “ She added: “Because if you look at Brexit … there was no real discussion in advance of that decision, there was no real information, and since then it has been seat of the pants stuff as well. So I think that canniness, that ability and desire to really get to the heart of things is actually what will be what delivers the Yes vote in indref2.”
The FM has unveiled plans to hold a second vote on independence in the second half of next year, and during the interview with journalist Graham Spiers, she restated that the Scottish Government would consider whether it would accelerate its legislation for a new independence vote if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31.
She said: “I’ve been an independence supporter all of my life, so I clearly want independence and want it urgently and want it badly. But I think the urgency of Scotland of being independent in that scenario [of a No-Deal Brexit] grows. I’ve said over the summer we have the legislation before the Scottish Parliament just now to enable what the Scottish Parliament needs to do to enable a referendum. I’ve said we are looking at whether we need to accelerate that timetable.”
The FM wants to follow the same legal framework that established the 2014 referendum, however, the UK Government is opposed to granting Holyrood the necessary power, prompting some in the SNP to urge her to consider a Plan B route to independence.
She insisted resistance at Westminster was “crumbling” and pressure should be kept up to get the powers to hold the legally recognised referendum. Hitting back at both internal and external critics, she said: “Why should I be talking about the alternatives to doing it the right way? It’s the people who are trying to block it from doing it the right way who should be under pressure.
“What on earth is democratic about any Westminster Government saying that even though there is a democratic mandate, even though the Scottish Parliament has voted for this, that they have the right to block it? And particularly just now when that undemocratic, unsustainable position has started to crumble.
“We’ve seen it from John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn, even within the Tories, we are starting to see them ‘ah well, maybe if they’ve got a majority in 2021’. So let’s just keep the pressure there. So we can have the referendum in the right way. In the gold standard way and then Scotland can become an independent country.”