PMQs: Boris Johnson shuts down independence question
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The SNP failed in their attempts for Scottish independence in 2014 when the Scottish population voted by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent against a split from the rest of the UK. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has continued to campaign for a second referendum on independence, and has tried to use Brexit as a mandate for this after Scots voted by a gap of 62 percent to 38 percent against leaving the EU in 2016. Boris Johnson has continued to refuse demands from the SNP to transfer the relevant powers from Westminster to Holyrood to hold another referendum, insisting the vote seven years ago was a “once in a generation event”.
Now Brexiteer and Conservative MP John Redwood has perfectly highlighted four crucial problems the SNP encountered during their previous referendum push – problems they are still unable to solve to this day.
Writing in his online blog, Mr Redwood said: “The SNP lost the referendum in part because they had not thought through some of the most basic points about leaving the UK.
“They seemed to think they could stay in the pound common currency supported by the Bank of England.
“There is no way the Bank of England could continue to take Scottish needs into account or act as lender of last resort to Scottish banks.
“They did not set out well how Scottish members of our armed forces would adjust.
“If the aim is to transfer their contracts to a Scottish army, navy and air force, there would need to be arrangements over equipment and it would make only a small force.
“If we assume the idea is that we would honour their contracts, that would mean they would have to commit their loyalty and service to a country other than their own.
“They would also be committed to an armed service with a nuclear deterrent that the SNP oppose.”
Mr Redwood also highlighted key problems in the SNP’s independence plan around tax revenue and spending, adding the party failed to reveal how the significant gap between those two points would be met.
He also said there was “no clear pledge to take their share of the UK national debt on exit.”
The Brexiteer said: “They did not reveal how the large gap between Scottish tax revenue and current spending would be filled.
“They did stress the oil revenues which have now been slashed by a large fall in the oil price.
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“There was no clear pledge to take their share of the U.K. national debt on exit.
“Quite often it seemed some of the SNP did not want independence, favouring a muddle of the pound and EU membership Instead.
“It should now be quite clear that offering more and more devolved powers to the Scottish Parliament is not going to reconcile proponents of independence to the UK.
“The SNP seeks to turn all debates in the UK Parliament into arguments about the relative powers of the Union parliament and the devolved government. They do not want devolution to work.”
Mr Redwood also threw his support behind Mr Johnson’s refusal to grant the relevant powers to Scotland for a second referendum so soon after the first vote in 2014.
He added: “Today the PM is right to say there is no need for a second referendum so soon after the first delivered a clear result, especially given SNP pledges that the referendum would be a once in a generation event.
“Had the SNP won I doubt they would now be giving Scottish people a second vote to reconsider their decision to leave.”
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