Snp: ‘Gentle persuasion’ is the key to winning indyref2
●MP Pete Wishart says illegal votes and tricks would backfire
Achieving victory for the Yes campaign at a future indyref2 is “all about gentle persuasion”, a veteran Nationalist MP has claimed.
Pete Wishart, who was returned as the representative for Perth and North Perthshire earlier this month with a substantially increased majority, claimed work was required by the SNP to retain the support which saw it increase its number of MPS to 47.
In a blog posted on his website yesterday, the senior Nationalist added that any talk of “illegal referendums” and “dissolving the union” would see first-time SNP voters move away from the party and back to their unionist rivals.
A motion put forward by Inverclyde Council leader Christopher Mcaleny and MP Angus MacNeil at the SNP conference in October pushed for a “plan B” – stating that a win for the SNP at the next Westminster or Holyrood election would give the Scottish Government a mandate to open talks on exiting the UK.
Following the SNP’S success on 12 December, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon requested the powers from Westminster for another plebiscite – something Prime Minister Boris
Johnson has maintained his opposition to.
Mr Wishart, who was first elected as an MP in 2001, claimed persuasion is required to win people over to the case for an independent Scotland, and the party must fight the urge to hold a referendum quickly – which he said would play into the hands of the UK government.
He wrote: “Talk of illegal referendums, UDIS [unilateral declaration of independence], dissolving unions and trying to game or trick our way to independence will send all these aspiring recruits running back into the arms of the union case.
“The Tories are hoping beyond hope that we now blow it through impatience and alienate this new support that is coming our way. Instead it should now be all about gentle persuasion, about convincing and understanding.”
He added that a big win for the independence cause in a future referendum would “put it beyond all reasonable doubt and question”.
He said: “There is a real sense that we are in the endgame of Scotland’s participation in their union.
“It really now is only ours to lose. We now have the opportunity not just to win it but to win it well and put it beyond all reasonable doubt and question.”
Last week, the First Minister said following the 2019 election, in which her party took 47 of the 59 Scottish seats at Westminster, the case for another referendum was “unarguable”.
She has unveiled a 38-page document entitled Scotland’s Right to Choose and announced that not only would she ask for a Section 30 order – the time-limited transfer of powers to hold a referendum next year – but that the Scotland Act should be permanently changed so future Scottish governments would no longer have to seek Westminster’s permission for a vote.
The document outlined ambitious plans to amend the 1998 Act to say: “It is recognised that the people of Scotland have the right to determine the form of government best suited to their needs” and that Schedule 5 of the legislation, which deals with reserved issues to Westminster, be changed to remove the right to “reserve a referendum on the independence of Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom.”
A summary attached to the SNP’S document also said: “The Scottish Government also believes that when the people of Scotland are invited to make a choice about their future, they should do so understanding what the consequences of their vote would be; and with a guarantee that any vote to become independent would be respected and acted upon by the UK government.”
Meanwhile, independence-supporting group Forward As One has set up a crowdfunder to take the UK government to court if Ms Sturgeon’s request for a Section 30 order is officially rejected.
The campaign, which aims to raise £40,000 to take legal action at the Court of Session, has so far reached just over £9,000.
0 Pete Wishart claims there is a sense of endgame about the Union