Pro-Union campaigners have warned Nationalists against demanding a referendum on Scottish independence in 2020, claiming it would be “the last thing” the country needs as it continues to deal with Brexit.
Scotland in Union made the call ahead of the SNP autumn conference, which begins in Aberdeen on Sunday, and rising speculation that party leader Nicola Sturgeon will use the event to ramp up pressure on the UK Government to grant an IndyRef2.
Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader, said today that such a plebiscite “has to happen within 2020”.
He added: “What we don’t want to do at the moment is put a specific date on that,” he told Politico.
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The First Minister warned her fellow party members yesterday that there were no “shortcuts” to a separate Scottish state, as she reiterated that independence could only be ratified by a referendum.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “The very last thing that Scotland needs is a divisive and unwanted second independence referendum next year.
“The Brexit turmoil is causing deep divisions and economic uncertainty, and a referendum on leaving the UK would cause catastrophic upheaval.
“Nationalist politicians need to start listening to the people of Scotland. Barely a quarter back another referendum before 2021, and support for remaining in the UK has risen to 59 per cent. Scotland said no to separation in 2014 and we meant it.
“The best future for Scotland is as part of the UK, growing our economy, ending constitutional division, and investing in public services for the most vulnerable in society.”