The Scottish Conservatives are urging Scots to respond to the SNP’s fresh independence drive by backing a petition opposing a second independence referendum.
In an email to supporters today, party leader Ruth Davidson urges people to “join me in making sure the SNP listens for once” – following polls showing a clear majority opposed to a second vote on independence.
Sign the Petition
The petition – which can be found at www.scottishconservatives.com/no2indyref – comes after Nicola Sturgeon promised only this April that she would not revisit the referendum question unless opinion changed.
A new poll today reveals that there is no increase in support for independence, and even less backing for a referendum.
In a letter to supporters today, Ruth writes:
“As leader of the main opposition party, I will demand every day that we get the government focussed back on what matters.
“And you can join me today by signing our petition, saying no to a second referendum. Already, thousands of Scots have signed up. Join them – and me – in making sure the SNP listens for once.
“Together, let’s demand the government we deserve: one that focusses on the day job, not a divisive, unwanted second referendum.”
The Scottish Conservatives are today also highlighting the SNP’s broken promises on the independence referendum today.
Prior to the independence referendum, Nicola Sturgeon said the vote would be “once in a generation” – but has now dumped that pledge.
Prior to the Scottish elections in May, Nicola Sturgeon said she would not return to a referendum if there was no shift in opinion – but has now gone back on her word.
And for the last four years, the SNP has insisted that the UK pound is the best option for Scotland – only today to launch a new commission which will examine other currency
options for an independent Scotland.
Ruth added: “The SNP’s record on independence over the last five years has been one of evasion, downright lies and broken promises.
“This is a party which will say or do anything to keep its separation obsession alive.
“People in Scotland have had enough: the SNP should drop the obsession with independence and get back to the job we pay them to do.”
SNP BROKEN PROMISES
Nicola Sturgeon has herself admitted she doesn’t have grounds for a second referendum
- She said that only a change in opinion make a second referendum legitimate ‘If I, the SNP, those who believe in independence, can’t shift opinion from September 2014, we won’t earn the right to ask the question again’ (STV Face to Face programme, 29 April 2016).
- An SNP test for a second independence was that opinion polls had to consistently show above 60 per cent support for independence. An SNP spokesperson said ‘As the First Minister set out there will only be a second referendum on independence if there is clear evidence of a shift of opinion’ (Herald Scotland, 18 October 2015).
- Yet only one poll conducted since the 2014 referendum has shown majority support for independence. Only an Ipsos Mori poll conducted between 24 and 30 August 2015 has ever showed above 50 per cent of respondents in favour of independence before undecided are removed (Ipsos Mori, Scottish Public Opinion Monitor – August 2015, 2 September 2015, link).
- The latest polling shows a clear majority for the union and no change in opinion since 2014. A YouGov poll released today showed that that 54% of Scots would vote for the Union if a referendum was held now – almost exactly the same as the situation in 2014 (YouGov, poll for The Times, 2 September 2016).
- It also shows people unequivocally don’t want a second referendum. 50% of people said they don’t support a second referendum before the UK leaves the EU (YouGov, poll for The Times, 2 September 2016).
- Brexit hasn’t changed views on independence. Professor John Curtice, Scotland’s leading polling expert, said that minority support for independence is ‘exactly the same proportion as did when YouGov last posed the question before the Brexit vote’(YouGov, poll for The Times, 2 September 2016).
Nicola Sturgeon is breaking her promises from the 2014 independence referendum
- Nicola Sturgeon said that there would be no second referendum on independence for a generation. ‘We’ve made very clear our belief that constitutional referenda are once-in-a-generation events’ (The Guardian, 24 August 2014).
- She promised to respect the result of the 2014 referendum. She negotiated and signed the Edinburgh agreement, which states that both sides were looking forward to ‘a referendum that is legal and fair producing a decisive and respected outcome. The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is’ (Edinburgh Agreement, Scottish Government/UK Government, 15 October 2012)
The SNP today has said it will revisit the question of an independent Scotland’s currency. But Nicola Sturgeon – and her new adviser Andrew Wilson – have made it clear that they believe Scotland should remain in a currency union.
- Nicola Sturgeon described keeping the Pound Sterling as an ‘excellent plan’ that is ‘right for Scotland’. ‘We want to keep the Pound and I’m not going to talk about a Plan B when we’ve got an excellent plan in the form of the fiscal commission working group…..as we’ve discussed earlier on this evening, it’s not just right for Scotland that we stay in the Pound, it’s right for the UK as well’ (STV, 17 May 2013).
- The Scottish Government’s own Fiscal Commission Working Group said that it would be in ‘Scotland’s interests retain the Sterling’, as it would help to ‘facilitate trade and investment’ with the rest of the UK. ‘Analysis shows that it would be in Scotland’s interests to retain Sterling immediately post-independence. It is also the case that – post independence – this would benefit the rest of the UK given the scale of integrated markets, including in areas such as financial services Scotland’s economy is strong enough and sufficiently aligned with the rest of the UK that a separate currency would not be necessary. Retaining a common currency would promote the single market and help facilitate trade and investment to and from the rest of the UK and elsewhere.’ (Fiscal Commission Working Group, First Report – Macroeconomic Framework, 15 February 2013, p27).
- In the run up to the referendum Mr Wilson sent a series of tweets backing a currency union:
- Every business trading north and south will want Sterling to stay. Carney speech pointed up what needed agreed for this to happen. /3 (@AndrewWilson, 5.23am, 12 February 2014)
- Just read Governor of @bankofengland speech. Seems balanced sensible reprise of economics of currency unions…/.. (@AndrewWilson, 5.12am, 29 January 2014)
- Standard Life make clear that they want a sustainably founded Currency union in event of independence. Model required as per Carney speech/1 (@AndrewWilson, 12.05am, 27 February 2014)
In January 2014 he wrote a column backing the shared pound, saying that in ‘the best outcome sovereignty is shared’ and that Mark Carney’s review of what Scotland would need to do to share the pound was sensible and compared to other options was ‘definitely’ worth it (Andrew Wilson, The Scotsman, 2 February 2014)