Scottish independence: Plan to gerrymander referendum by allowing Scots living in rest of UK to vote is half-baked – Angus Robertson MSP

It is becoming ever clearer that there will be an independence referendum in Scotland after we emerge from the Covid-pandemic.

It is becoming clearer that a referendum on Scottish independence will happen, says Angus Robertson. Picture: John Devlin

The Scottish public have (re)elected a Scottish Parliament with a clear majority of MSPs committed to the public deciding the future of the country and a referendum will follow.

This weekend SNP President Michael Russell was tasked with heading up SNP preparations for the independence campaign. Mike is my predecessor as Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution and I look forward to working with him to deliver on the result that the public voted for.

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Opponents of Scottish independence know that a referendum is coming, which is why, in the absence of a positive case for Scotland remaining part of Boris Johnson’s Brexit Britain, they are trying to skew the process.

According to a report on the front-page of the Times newspaper, the big idea of anti-independence strategists is to base the referendum franchise on birth, not residency in Scotland.

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Clearly not having thought through their own suggestion, they think that by allowing 800,000 Scots-born voters in the rest of the UK to take part in the vote, they can gerrymander the referendum and secure a ‘No’ result.

Of course, if place of birth were to be key and not residency, then Scots around the world should be able to take part, not just those in the UK. Which just goes to show how half-baked the suggestion is.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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