You read it here first

I see I am not the only supporter of the Union who is urging the government to recognise the SNP's victory in the Scottish Parliament elections makes a referendum on independence inevitable, and to get on with holding it as soon as consistent with allowing a proper and democratic discussion and vote.

I wrote nearly a week ago (9th May) on this blog that if negotiations between the Scottish and UK governments are held under the shadow of a looming independence vote there is a real danger that it will poison them. Best to hold the referendum reasonably quickly, let people vote on whether there will still be a United Kingdom or not, and free both Scotland and the rest of the UK to move forward.

A number of MSPs have been making similar noises, and now the Spectator argues that

"The answer is for Westminster to call Salmond’s bluff by instigating an early referendum. It ought to have been done years ago. Why let the SNP leader choose the moment of maximum advantage, when now there is still a natural majority for the Union in Scotland? And even if there is no clear leader of the No forces capable of taking on Salmond, a cross-party campaign could assemble a powerful range of Scottish voices, including John Reid, Charles Kennedy and former Scottish Secretary Lord Forsyth among others. The battle is winnable, if fought early enough."

You can read the full article here.


Jim said…
Alex Salmond has said he will bring in an independence referendum in the second half of a five-year term.

Don't really think he could have been much clearer really, I wonder if a "cast iron" promise of a referendum means something north of the border??
Chris Whiteside said…
My point is that I don't think it is in the interests of either Scotland or England, or indeed Wales or Northern Ireland, to wait until "the second half of a five year parliament."
jim said…
I realize where you are coming from, i dont think its so good for the UK on the whole either really. The thing is Alex Salmon and his SNP know its not in their interest to hold the referendum asap as they will probably lose it if they do.
This would not only undermine salmon but would also raise the question of the current scottish government with independance being such a key issue to the SNP. To lose such a key referendum so early in its first government majority would be devatating to the SNP. It would be welcome by the no campaign, hence the calling from the main parties, though its simply not going to happen.

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