Second Independence Referendum Possible Before 2020, Says SNP Leader

June 30, 2015

A second referendum on the issue of Scottish independence from the UK could take place during the current parliament, according to Angus Robertson, who leads the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Westminster.

Robertson has suggested that the issue of independence could again be put to the Scottish people if David Cameron and the Conservative Party pursue their austerity agenda and don’t hand over more powers to Holyrood.

Relations between Scottish and English MPs in Westminster have been tested in recent months with the SNP securing a vast majority of Scottish seats at last month’s general election as the Conservatives secured a slim majority across the UK as a whole.

The Observer asked Robertson recently whether he believed that a second referendum on independence was possible before 2020 and the SNP leader refused to rule out the prospect.

“I think that largely lies with David Cameron,” he said.

“He has to make a decision as to how he is going to approach governing Scotland with only one MP, having made a cast-iron promise and an undertaking to deliver on more powers for the Scottish parliament and the voters.”

Scots took to the polls in great numbers for the September 2014 independence referendum with a majority voting for Scotland to remain part of the UK. It has been widely assumed since that the issue would not be put to a public vote again for many years.

But Robertson remains convinced that there will be a time when Scotland revisits the question of Scottish independence and votes in favour.

“Do I believe that in the future there will be further moves towards Scottish self-government? Yes, I do. Do I believe that there will in time be a growing desire in Scotland for independence? Yes, I do. Do I believe that in time there will be a referendum when the public wants it on independence and that there will be a ‘Yes’ result? Yes, I do.”

Robertson leads a total of 56 SNP MPs in Westminster, with Scottish constituencies now represented almost entirely by the party in the House of Commons.

“We were elected on a very well understood platform, standing up for Scottish interests to deliver the new powers that were promised,” Robertson said.

John Baird

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