Jim Sillars: No second independence vote until Yes at 60%

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A second referendum on Scottish independence should not be called until support for leaving the UK is at 60 per cent for six months, a former Depute Leader of the SNP has said.

Jim Sillars, who played a prominent role in 2014’s referendum campaign, cautioned against rushing back to the polls while the terms of the Brexit negotiations were still unclear.

Jim Sillars played a prominent role in 2014's referendum campaign. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL

Jim Sillars played a prominent role in 2014's referendum campaign. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL

In an article for i, he argued that the Yes side “cannot afford another glorious defeat brought on by impatience” and had to rebuild its case before thinking about the date of another vote.

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Mr Sillars also offered his backing to the SNP MP Pete Wishart, who received abuse from independence supporters on social media after cautioning against a rush to another referendum.

“Those of us who have been a long, long time in the independence movement have seen this kind of frustration boil over several times as people fall out, not about the objective, but how to get there,” he wrote.

READ MORE: SNP MP Pete Wishart rails against online abuse from indy supporters

“Pete Wishart was in the SNP during those times, when it was difficult to keep the faith. For anyone to believe this man would sell the jerseys now does their mental condition a disfavour, not his.”

Mr Sillars went on to argue that until a Brexit agreement is reached between the UK Government and Brussels, it will be too early for the Yes campaign to reach agreed policies.

“If we are to build a majority, once we know what policies to deploy when the terms of Brexit are finally known, we need to be strong on the ground, capable of launching and sustaining an educational campaign to take us up to 60 per cent in the polls, and stay there over at least six months, so that our support is rock solid and our demand for a referendum unstoppable,” he added.