Portillo brilliantly exposes how Sturgeon's Brexit independence claim will backfire on SNP

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Portillo brilliantly exposes how Sturgeon's Brexit independence claim will backfire on SNP

Boris Johnson has visited Scotland for the first time since the 2019 general election amid latest polling figures showing a surge of support for in

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Boris Johnson has visited Scotland for the first time since the 2019 general election amid latest polling figures showing a surge of support for independence. The SNP are now gunning for a second referendum, with many citing the fast-approaching Brexit deadline as a major influence on the rise of secession sympathy. Former Conservative Cabinet minister, Michael Portillo, dismissed the idea, revealing to Times Radio why First Minister Nicola Sturgeon may find the opposite effect after December.

He said: “If you take the view of Brexit being some sort of disaster, which I, of course, do not take, but people in Scotland do, if they think they’ve been plunged into one sort of uncertainty, will they be anxious to plunge themselves into another sort of uncertainty?

“As we say, COVID has only made that worse.

“The point is, when people respond to an opinion poll, they do not have to consider quite complex questions about whether they themselves and Scotland would be better off.

“But when you’re into a referendum then these arguments do get made, and last time those arguments were quite telling.”

READ MORE: Michael Portillo delivers brutal assessment of BBC programming

Mr Portilllo continued: “We’re in the bonkers position where if the opinion polls move in Scotland, the SNP feels its entitled to call another referendum.

“That’s not a political settlement. We had a referendum in 2014 and within a few months, the SNP were once again talking about having another referendum.

“It’s part of the Cameron legacy that we didn’t set some rules here, that maybe this would be revisted once a generation, once every 25 years.

“If the the SNP win a big majority in the Scottish Parliament elections next year, the pressure will be quite considerable. I don’t quite know how that will resolve itself.”

The Prime Minister already formally rejected a call from Ms Sturgeon for a second independence referendum last year.

The First Minister made the move after the SNP scored a victory in the December 2019 general election, where they gained 13 seats to hold 48 of the 59 Scottish battlegrounds.

Mr Johnson said a referendum would “continue the political stagnation Scotland has seen for the past decade”.

He cited the party’s own intial promise that the vote would be “once in a generation”.

Ms Sturgeon claimed that the Tories were attempting to “deny democracy”.



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