Indyref2: Why has the campaign for another vote gone quiet?

1 month ago 18

By Nick Eardley
BBC governmental correspondent

image sourceGetty Images

image captionUnion Jack and Flag of Scotland

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to caput to Scotland, what are the chances of the SNP securing different independency referendum?

May's Scottish predetermination was a large infinitesimal for the UK.

Parties demanding different referendum connected independency had won a majority.

The SNP believed they had a cast-iron mandate for different vote. But they privation the UK authorities to hold - and there's nary motion of that happening.

It sets up a law clash which we volition beryllium talking astir for immoderate time.

But don't expect the crescendo immoderate clip soon.

Boris Johnson's travel to Scotland this week is his archetypal successful 7 months.

The premier minister's perceived unpopularity northbound of the borderline meant galore Scottish Tories thought it champion to support him retired of May's predetermination campaign.

But UK ministers judge they request to speech much astir what they spot arsenic the benefits of the union.

Last week, we had Chancellor Rishi Sunak talking astir the occurrence of furlough.

The PM has talked connected a fig of occasions astir wherefore helium thinks the national made the coronavirus vaccine rollout easier and faster.

You tin expect to perceive much of the aforesaid successful the adjacent mates of days.

When it comes to independence, determination is astir nary imaginable of Mr Johnson's authorities budging - and agreeing to different referendum.

Senior figures successful Downing Street person made it wide the PM is not going to alteration his mind.

But tin that presumption clasp forever?

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove seemed to hint that it couldn't successful an interrogation past week.

He told the Sunday Mail that if different referendum was the "settled will" of the Scottish people, different ballot would beryllium held.

But however bash you specify settled will?

The question is astir apt portion of the answer. It allows the UK authorities to support saying nary without a tangible constituent astatine which they'll accidental yes.

The SNP are successful nary unreserved either.

The enactment is trying to fig retired the answers to immoderate beauteous large questions connected its post-Brexit program for an autarkic Scotland.

How would you forestall a hard borderline with England?

How rapidly would you determination to a caller Scottish currency?

How rapidly would Scotland beryllium capable to articulation the EU?

Behind the scenes, determination is enactment going connected to look astatine these cardinal questions. But the answers aren't simple.

Then there's the question of priorities.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made Covid hers to tackle successful the archetypal 3 months of the caller Holyrood word - and her enactment has promised determination won't beryllium different referendum until the situation has passed. Again, without a explanation of erstwhile we mightiness justice what passed means.

So portion the rhetoric connected the constitution continues, decisive moments are a portion away. Senior figures successful the SNP are reluctant to connection immoderate benignant of day for erstwhile different referendum mightiness beryllium held.

There could, however, beryllium immoderate tiny steps successful the adjacent fewer weeks.

In September, the SNP volition clasp a league wherever independency volition beryllium 1 of the main 3 themes.

There, you tin expect Ms Sturgeon to travel nether unit to determination the independency run on.

A leaked provisional docket for the lawsuit includes a question which would request Ms Sturgeon's authorities holds a referendum "as soon arsenic it is safe".

The last docket for the league hasn't been finalised, but determination are besides calls for the enactment to acceptable up a "Borders commission" to bash elaborate enactment connected the borderline question.

A fig of SNP branches privation the enactment to perpetrate to removing atomic weapons from Scotland wrong 3 years of independency - a important commitment.

There is going to beryllium a batch much statement astir the independency timetable adjacent month.

It's besides imaginable the SNP volition squad up with the Scottish Greens successful a ceremonial statement astatine Holyrood.

This wouldn't beryllium a conjugation - but thing abbreviated of that, focussed connected cardinal issues wherever they agree.

A committedness to different referendum would beryllium 1 of them. Inevitable for the 2 pro-independence parties - but a symbolic amusement of strength.

But connected the cardinal question of whether different independency referendum is going to happen, a factual reply is simply a portion off.

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