Herald letter: SNP must withdraw referendum threat if it wants a Brexit role (Warning – concludes with mixed metaphor)

MICHAEL Russell tells us that the UK is in the grip of a constitutional crisis (“We will ‘sup with the devil’ to fix Brexit bill, vows SNP”, The Herald, January 30). If he is correct, he will also surely be in agreement that the current policy of the Scottish Government to hold a further referendum on Scottish independence cannot be helping. Indeed, as long as that policy is in place, any reasonable person would be suspicious of his Government’s motives in dealing with Brexit, especially in the light of the First Minister’s past dictum that independence is an aim that transcends everything else – including Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon was very quick to announce her intentions for a new independence referendum on the morning after the Brexit vote. Indeed, it looked very much like she welcomed the Leave outcome, as she considered it a game-changer in her independence strategy. Since then, however, she has been proven wrong, as support for independence has fallen and the idea of another referendum remains as unpopular as ever.

If the SNP and Mr Russell now wish to play any constructive part in the unfolding Brexit process, I suggest they should put a further proposition to the Scottish Parliament, formally withdrawing the demand for a new referendum. It might also help to include in its wording that the idea is suspended for a generation, although of course this phrase is damaged goods when uttered by Ms Sturgeon.

This would also let the First Minister off the hook of the precipitate decision which has now blown up in her face.

Peter A Russell,

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