The real rea­son Ni­cola Stur­geon won’t take the threat of indyref2 off the ta­ble

The Scotsman - - Perspective / Letters To The Editor -

Since the gen­eral elec­tion the clam­our to get Ni­cola Stur­geon to take indyref2 “off the ta­ble” has re­dou­bled. She will never with­draw her de­mand for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum and it is noth­ing to do with Brexit, that is just the cur­rent ex­cuse for keep­ing the threat in place.

The truth is that if the pos­si­bil­ity of a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum is re­moved the SNP will dis­in­te­grate. The SNP is not a party, it is a move­ment which adopts pop­ulist poli­cies to re­tain power and whose mem­ber­ship con­sists of widely di­verse right wingers, left wingers,

Brex­i­teers, re­main­ers, etc. All that keeps them to­gether is their over­rid­ing ob­ses­sion to break up the UK. The wildly differing views within the SNP mean that if that am­bi­tion is re­moved, self de­struc­tion is in­evitable. Ms Stur­geon is painfully aware of this.

DR RICHARD MARSH

Bellabeg House Strath­don, Aberdeen­shire

Not many peo­ple ob­ject to the SNP’S core ob­jec­tive of Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence, but af­ter three elec­tions where their sup­port has de­clined by around

500,000 votes we are en­ti­tled to some clar­ity and fair­ness on how they wish to pur­sue their goal. Surely the best way would be for Ni­cola Stur­geon to an­nounce a halt to all cur­rent ef­forts to se­cure a ref­er­en­dum, ir­re­spec­tive of any on­go­ing or up­com­ing “ma­te­rial changes in cir­cum­stances”. In­stead the SNP will in­clude a com­mit­ment to indyref2 in their man­i­festo for the 2021 Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tions.

An elec­tion won on these terms will give them an un­equiv­o­cal man­date for indyref2 in, say, 2023. In this way the

SNP would be seen to be get­ting be­hind the UK Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions and have six years to de­velop a con­vinc­ing plan for sep­a­ra­tion, in­clud­ing poli­cies on cur­rency, Europe, de­fence, Nato and Tri­dent and an econ­omy which is not un­der­writ­ten by the UK.

It would also give them the op­por­tu­nity to use ex­ist­ing pow­ers to trans­form our ed­u­ca­tion, so­cial care, health­care, hous­ing and fi­nances and show the elec­torate they have the abil­ity, vi­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion to get our coun­try in a fit state to go it alone. Af­ter

ten years of un­der­whelm­ing per­for­mance, spin and cry­ing wolf, the SNP owes us such straight­for­ward ap­proach.

AL­LAN SUTHER­LAND Wil­low Row, Stone­haven

Di­verg­ing views within the se­nior ranks of the SNP over indyref2 fol­low­ing the gen­eral elec­tion re­sult in Scot­land can be easily re­solved (“SNP split over whether to press ahead with indyref2”, 19 June). Scot­land is also wait­ing pa­tiently for our First Min­is­ter to let us in on where she now stands, just as her col­leagues await

news of what the new party line is to be so that they can get on mes­sage. Ni­cola Stur­geon’s ap­par­ent hes­i­tancy to end this un­cer­tainty con­trasts with how quickly she de­liv­ered her sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum ul­ti­ma­tum fol­low­ing the EU ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

The trou­ble with is­su­ing threats on be­half of Scot­land is that they can soon sound rather hol­low if it be­comes all too clear that the peo­ple of Scot­land have other ideas.

KEITH HOW­ELL

White Moss West Lin­ton, Pee­b­lesshire

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