Alister Jack rules out second independence referendum for another 25 years

Alister Jack has ruled out holding indyref2 for another 25 years.

The Scottish Secretary set out new conditions that must be met before the UK Government would agree to a second referendum.

Mr Jack has now ruled out another vote for 25 years, saying that is what constitutes a “generation”.

He told STV: "The trigger in my mind, and I look to the situation in Northern Ireland for instance, if 60 per cent of people wanted a referendum and that position was sustained for over 12 months, then I can see there would be a desire for a referendum.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

"But [referendums] can't come every five or six or seven years. The SNP would only have to win once if we just keep asking the question."

The senior Tory said in August that Westminster would only grant another vote if 60 per cent of voters supported one.

Mr Jack also claimed the First Minister was "gaming the system" because she did not win an outright majority in the Holyrood election.

The Dumfries and Galloway MP added: “When Alex Salmond came forward with the Alba Party, she said he was gaming the system. She said he wasn’t standing on the first part the post list, it was just on the regional lists.

"And that she called gaming the system.

“Well the Greens didn’t stand first past the post, so by her own definition she’s gaming the system.”

His comments sparked a furious response from the SNP.

SNP MP Pete Wishart said: "The people who will determine the future of our nation are the Scottish people. We will do it adhering to the best principles of democracy. All attempts by the Tories to gerrymander our democracy will not succeed."

Joanna Cherry, the SNP MP and QC, said: "The current UK constitutional set-up permits a Northern Irish referendum on Irish reunification every seven years.

"Why should the position be any different for Scotland and why should a party that hasn't won an election in Scotland since the Fifties set these conditions?"

The Scottish Government has stated that it intends to hold indyref2 by the end of 2023.


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