Gordon Wilson: SNP must not be “stampeded” into a second indyref by Brexit


Former party leader set to launch policy document calling for steady preparation of independence drive over five to 20 years

FORMER SNP leader Gordon Wilson will today (Tuesday 28 June) warn that the SNP must not be “stampeded” into a second independence referendum.

The call for restraint will accompany the launch of a new policy document outlining a strategy for independence, which emphasises the need for a new approach focused on a steady and patient construction of a social bloc for independence.

This five to 20 year strategy would allow, the paper argues, for a generational shift in favour of Scottish identity to take place.

The policy paper reads: “Problematically, many new adherents of the Yes movement want another independence plebiscite now regardless of the prospects of success. More experienced SNP members know that getting to where we are has been a long, hard morale sapping battle lasting decades.

“Just as Rome was not built in a day, they know that the case for independence needs to be advanced intelligently, simply and above all repetitively over a period of years if a significant number of No voters are to be persuaded to switch sides.

“Crucially, with every passing year, the post war ‘British’ generation will be succeeded by generations to whom British identity is weaker.”

The document will also call for the SNP to restrain itself from dominating any future campaign for Scottish independence, through the deployment of “self-denying ordinances”.

Instead, it will be argued, an autonomous convention of pro-independence groups should be organised and meet every year, to broaden the constituency for independence.

Indyref2? Leading independence campaigners on the way forward

The launch comes after comments by another veteran nationalist leader, former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars, who voiced concerns that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would be unable to call a second referendum on Scottish independence after the UK voted to leave the EU.

Speaking to CommonSpace, he said: “There will not be a second independence referendum until the SNP has won a majority at an election and has a mandate to lever the legal right out of Westminster in 2021. That is the political and legal reality.  

“Nicola Sturgeon will pay a price for grandstanding on shaky ground.  Don’t believe me? Look up the Scotland Act 1989, the legal shackles on her are all there.”

The shock vote for Out in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU led Nicola Sturgeon to announced that a second Scottish independence referendum was “highly likely”.

The SNP had stated in its 2016 manifesto that under circumstances where the UK voted to leave the EU and Scotland voted to remain, a second independence referendum would be a legitimate response.

Since the referendum Sturgeon has said that the option of another referendum was “on the table” but that she would also attempt to protect Scotland’s position as a member of the EU. She has also said this could involve the Scottish Parliament refusing legislative consent for a British exit, even if this meant halting the process of disentanglement from the UE throughout the whole of the UK.

SNP leftist MP Tommy Sheppard will discuss his strategy for Scottish independence at two forthcoming meetings in Glasgow.

Picture courtesy of Options for Scotland

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