Joanna Cherry backs calls for ‘Plan B’ debate on independence

A leading SNP MP has backed calls for debate on a ‘Plan B’ for a second independence referendum if the UK Government continues to refuse permission for indyref2.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry speaks to the crowd during a protest by anti-Brexit activists in Edinburgh in January

Joanna Cherry said that “the time for avoiding discussion of Plan B is over”, in a message that will add to pressure on the SNP leadership.

Ms Cherry has previously urged the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a second independence referendum as a means to "move us away from the current impasse", and argued that the Scottish Government would win a legal challenge over whether Edinburgh or London has the constitutional authority to hold a vote on Scotland’s future.

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Nicola Sturgeon has urged caution over such a move, warning that a legal challenge could be lost in the UK Supreme Court.

Other SNP figures like the MP Angus MacNeil and Inverclyde councillor Chris McEleny have led calls for a Plan B, but MP Pete Wishart warned recently that attempts to circumvent the UK Government would leave Scotland in a “hellish limbo” like Catalonia, which pressed ahead with an unofficial referendum.

Calling for an internal party debate in the National on Thursday, Ms Cherry said: “While SNP MPs must do the job we were elected by our constituents to do at Westminster, the reality is that only action taken in Scotland to gain independence can secure a future where this sort of unwanted chaos cannot happen again.

“It’s great to see an increase in support for independence in the opinion polls, but this, together with the SNP riding high in the polls, takes us no further forward unless we have a plan for how to secure our independence and what to do with it.

“Those who want to discuss and debate such plans are to be applauded. The time for avoiding discussion of Plan B is over.”

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