AN SNP MSP is circulating campaign literature saying a Nationalist victory in next year’s Scottish election will result in a second independence referendum.
Leaflets produced by Colin Keir, MSP for Edinburgh Western, have angered opponents who say the SNP has said last year’s referendum was a once-in-a-generation opportunity.
Mr Keir’s leaflets said: “Re-elect Colin Keir MSP for Edinburgh Western. We need the maximum number of MSPs elected in 2016 to win a second independence referendum. To do this we need to re-elect Colin. He has a track record of fighting for the SNP and winning.”
Before the referendum, SNP politicians told voters the poll was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Since then Nicola Sturgeon has signalled that the UK government’s plans for English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) could trigger another independence vote. She has also said that another trigger could be a “material change” in circumstances such as Scotland voting to remain in the EU while the rest of the UK votes to leave.
Last night the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “It seems the once in a generation message has changed to holding a second referendum as soon as possible. People in Scotland voted decisively in September to stay in the UK – it’s time the SNP respected that result.”
Mr Keir told the Buzzfeed website: “The comments regarding a second referendum are based on my own view that circumstances are heading towards an inevitability that a second will happen.
“European referendum results in England being different in Scotland as an example. Add to this the ‘vow’ not living up to expectation as well as public discontent over a Tory government in London.
“I don’t believe there will be huge cries for another referendum until Westminster finish with the Scotland Bill, EVEL legislation and the public feel the effects of austerity over time. People power will likely be the catalyst for change. If this happens we need a strong SNP presence at Holyrood.
“I accept the referendum result, I just see a certainty over the horizon, just a matter of time.”
Last night an SNP spokesman said: “The timing of any future referendum is entirely a matter for the people of Scotland to decide.
“The First Minister has made clear we are not planning another referendum, but equally has made it clear that it is not in the gift of any politician and party to rule it out indefinitely.”