SNP to pursue Scottish Greens in coming months to hold indyref2 by 2023

Indyref2: John Swinney discusses plans for second referendum

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The deputy first minister has hit out at Boris Johnson for trying to thwart Scottish independence plans north of the border. Mr Swinney has said the SNP’s agreement with the Scottish Greens means a second referendum should be held within two and a half years. Speaking to BBC’s The Nine, Mr Swinney said: “There’s an absolute democratic case for a referendum.

“The people of Scotland voted for it in May by electing a majority of MSPs to parliament who support the holding of an independence referendum.

“This agreement cements that by indicating that, Covid permitting, the referendum should take place in the first half of this parliamentary term.

“The United Kingdom government, for all their rhetoric, cannot stand in the way of the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland.

“This agreement makes that clear and we will be pursuing that agreement in the months ahead should it be approved to make sure we secure that referendum on independence.”

Another campaign for Scottish independence should focus on persuasion rather than “grudge and grievance”, former SNP depute leader Jim Sillars has said.

The veteran independence campaigner, in an excerpt from his new book published in the Sunday Times, claims the idea that the UK is “shafting” Scotland “has a grip on Yes and SNP minds”.

But in reality, Mr Sillars claims, the worst case scenario is that UK Government ministers give little thought to Scotland’s affairs.

Vitriol between both sides of the independence debate, particularly on social media, intensified during the 2014 campaign and continues to this day.

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Mr Sillars warned against such attacks from his own side, claiming it will turn off voters who could be persuaded towards independence.

He said: “Many of the statements made by SNP ministers and MPs at Westminster, together with those who write columns and letters in the National newspaper and the messages that stream out on social media, scream that Scotland is being ignored, insulted and not respected.

“The fact is no-one sits in ministerial offices in London thinking of how to shaft Scotland. At the very worst, they simply don’t give us much thought.

“That idea that deliberate ‘Scotland shafting’ is going on has a grip on the Yes and SNP minds, and it has led to the policy of advancing the case for independence through manufactured grudge and grievance.

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“The ‘they are taking back powers’ rage is an example. Grudge and grievance complaints against Westminster, combined with vitriolic attacks upon unionists via social media, make for a stupid policy.

“If the Yes campaign is to win next time, it will be on the basis of persuasion – and that will require a better understanding as to why so many No voters held to the Union last time and still do.

“Unionists do not see Westminster as a malign anti-Scottish force and, in their rejection of any such claims, they become entrenched in their views and unreceptive to the idea of independence.

“Scottish unionists are not traitors to this nation and to suggest that they are or that they are not as Scottish as Yes voters is a mistake.”

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