Scotland deserves answers on an independence referendum, it is now time for the SNP to deliver them - Conor Matchett

Scottish politics has been throttled by the possibility and repeated promise of a second independence referendum.

The SNP’s political victories since 2014 have resulted in a never-ending stand-off between two sides of the nationalist coin.

Scotland’s politics has no doubt suffered from this stagnation, with serious domestic topics being subsumed by the larger, constitutional monster that hangs over much of political discourse.

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This is partially the fault of the UK Government failing to acquiesce to demands for a referendum from the SNP, though there is nothing for them to gain politically from agreeing to such a move.

Nicola Sturgeon, however, has presided over a Government that continues to plead impotence while engaging in finger-pointing at Westminster and Number 10, all while doing nothing to shift the independence campaign out of neutral.

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It cannot go on forever. The First Minister knows it, the UK Government knows it.

One of them must blink, and that person must be the SNP leader given Westminster’s structural advantage.

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Nicola Sturgeon is set to publish the first of her government's papers on independence.

In the three weeks to summer recess, Scots are likely to provided with at least one of the SNP’s new prospectuses for independence.

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We may, given the timings required for a Bill, finally see a referendum bill tabled, giving the Government a summer of Westminster instability and weakness to make their case.

Fundamentally, Scotland deserves updated answers to what its leaders and dominant political force believes the future of the country should look like.

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Voters must be provided with as much certainty as possible about what sort of deal an independent Scotland would seek to negotiate with the UK.

If Brexit has taught us anything, it is that not clearly outlining this pre-vote causes nothing but further division and political crisis.

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These independence prospectuses must provide some clarity on issues such as currency, borders and rejoining the EU.

The SNP has a moral duty to answer these questions.

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Unionists – both left and right – must also step up to the plate and present their vision for Scotland staying in the union given the fact most agree the status quo is unsustainable.

The proxy war over the referendum may be about to begin.

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Want to hear more from The Scotsman's politics team? Check out the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamie.

It's available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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