Scottish independence: Unionists should just boycott Nicola Sturgeon's illegal referendum (or big opinion poll) – John McLellan

The SNP’s cunning plan to circumvent the lack of power to hold an independence referendum looks less cunning by the day since the launch of the “scene-setter” last week. It would have to sit in a hot kiln to become a damp squib.

Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 12:30 pm

Legal analysis by Dr David Torrance, a former Evening News reporter, of a now forgotten 2012 case fought by the SNP to prove it had the power to ban cigarette machines strongly indicates even a consultative referendum would be illegal because the intention would be to influence matters beyond the Scottish Parliament’s power, the UK constitution.

There is no chance unionist parties will participate in any illegal vote or what will at best be a big opinion poll in 2023, as First Minster Nicola Sturgeon promised, or at any other time.

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It won’t take much of a campaign, no need for any kind of Better Together organisation to get a very simple point across; don’t participate in an illegal bid to break up Britain and smash the Scottish economy at a time of international crisis.

A clear message that the vote is meaningless would hit pro-independence support too, and with Yes getting 38 per cent of the total electorate in 2014, it’s not fanciful to predict the turnout for a spoof vote would be well below 40 per cent.

Next week we are supposed to hear more about the “route map to independence”, or Nicola’s road to nowhere, but this time indy-sceptics won’t have to vote No. Just don’t go.

Nicola Sturgeon, with Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie, has launched plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence (Picture: Russell Cheyne/pool/Getty Images)