May has made a statement on the proposed Scottish Referendum.
Why so sudden? About an hour’s notice?
I believe we’re still waiting for an official response to the Scottish Government’s proposals on Brexit. More than *shrugs shoulders*
Hmm, could it be that in the middle of a disastrous week containing Nicola’s announcement, a delay to Article 50 being enacted (it’s in the Express so may or may not be true), Budget U-turn on NICS, being embarrassed at PMQs and then the real biggy #ToryElectionFraud, she is desperately looking for a distraction?
Now £70,000 fine is nothing to the Tories with the size of their donors’ pockets, but 12 Police forces have now submitted reports to the CPA. If found guilty of these criminal offences, by-elections could make a sizable dint in her majority.
Why else rush? The procedure has not been formally started yet. The two day planned debate in Holyrood next week may not have resulted in a formal request. Willie Rennie’s oratory skills may have swung the chamber back into the bosom of the Union.(yeah, I know the odds of that)
Her wording is in itself “interesting”
Nothing is more important to me than seeing this United Kingdom thrive. Our precious union of nations is the most successful that the world has ever seen. And we have been joined together as one country for over 300 years. We have worked together, we have prospered together, we have fought wars together. And we have a bright future. I think there’s a bright future for us all.
That’s why as we embark on the process of a new relationship, a future relationship with the European Union, I’m going to be fighting for every person, every family, every business across the whole of the United Kingdom. That’s my focus. And I think it should be the focus of us all.
So when the SNP government say that it’s the time to start talking about a second independence referendum, I say that just at this point, all our energies should be focused on our negotiations with the European Union about our future relationship.
And to be talking about an independence referendum would, I think, make it more difficult for us to be able to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the UK.
And, more than that, I think it would not be fair to the people of Scotland because they’d be being asked to take a crucial decision without the necessary information, without knowing what the future partnership will be or what the alternative of an independent Scotland would look like.
So I think, just now, we should be putting all our energies into ensuring that we get that right deal for the UK and the right deal for Scotland in our negotiations with the European Union. That is my job as prime minister.
Right now, we should be working together, not pulling apart. We should be working together to get that right deal for Scotland, that right deal for the UK.
And so, for that reason, I say to the SNP now is not the time.
She was asked FOUR times on whether this meant no referendum ever, delayed until after the UK leaves the EU or until after the next General Election.
She did not say she wouldn’t block it, instead we now have a new catchphrase to go with “Brexit means Brexit”, now we have “Now is not the time”
What she hopes people will forget is ScotGov is not asking for a referendum now, but late 2018/early 2019 – in the window between the end of the Brexit negotiations and before the UK actually leaves – so that unlike the EU ref the people of Scotland will know what’s actually on offer.
The real signpost of her attitude towards Scotland for me is – apart from the disregard of the First Minister’s mandate and weasel words used -the contempt for the Scottish Government itself, the statement was made during First Minister’s Questions.
She has done the equivalent of pouring oil on a fire the day before the SNP conference…
And as it was been pointed out earlier – who needs an “official” referendum? The EU ref was purely advisory.
Featured image: Malabar giant squirrel, (Ratufa indica)