Scotland news: Should Boris call Sturgeon’s bluff and call independence poll next year? | Politics | News

The SNP has vowed to hold a second poll, nicknamed IndyRef2, next year, but rivals have vowed this will “never happen”. But with the increasing support for independence being met with an equally ferocious pro-union campaign, should Boris Johnson call Nicola Sturgeon’s bluff and grant a second independence vote?

Mr Johnson, who headlined the Scottish Tories conference last weekend, slated the SNP, claiming Scotland was better together as part of the UK.

Mr Johnson added his “round, unvarnished view” was that “the way the SNP have handled devolution in Scotland has been a disaster”.

Under the SNP, he said, Scotland had seen “plummeting education standards, low business confidence and the lowest satisfaction in public services ever”.

Mr Johnson said: “Let’s never forget what we have achieved as a country through co-operation.”

But the SNP, who will host their conference this weekend, claim Boris Johnson and new party leader Douglas Ross had “insulted the democratic choice of the people of Scotland.”

Keith Brown MSP, SNP deputy leader, said: “[Boris Johnson] should have apologised for insulting the democratic choice of the people of Scotland and for the litany of toxic Tory policies, from austerity to a disastrous Brexit in the midst of a devastating pandemic.

“Once again, untrustworthy Johnson has demonstrated the Tories don’t care about the needs of the people of Scotland.

“The only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is to become an independent, European country.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon sets out vision for new SNP Scottish Bank

But more Unionist leaning parties including Scottish Labour and the Scottish Lib Dems have held a more optimistic view of a vote.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie MSP insisted his party will oppose a second independence referendum “every step of the way”.

Mr Rennie said the “power is in the hands of the people” to bring an end to talk of another vote at next year’s Holyrood election.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said initially the party would oppose a second referendum although hints at a position change have dropped recently from MSPs.

Mr Leonard, said: “We are clearly saying that we are opposed to a second independence referendum.

“The entire focus and dedication of the next Scottish Parliament and the next Scottish Government should be on rebuilding the economy and revitalising our public services.”

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