Sturgeons Brexit problem: Scots sick of EU obsession turn against Independence

Nicola Sturgeon is a 'political opportunist' says Dan Wootton

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The New Year is likely to bring about renewed calls for Scotland to hold a second independence push, with the previous vote approaching its eight anniversary. According to some critics, the SNP is held back most by its political agenda beyond that of supporting independence.

The SNP may still, after a difficult two years, hold a firm position in both Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, and in Westminster.

But Tom Harris, wiring in the Telegraph, argues that the party is unlikely to achieve its dream of tearing Scotland from the rest of the UK.

This is due in part to the party’s obsession with the EU, which it would like Scotland rejoin if it left the UK.

He wrote: “The main reason independence has not yet made the breakthrough expected by Remainers and Rejoiners across the land is one that few of them would be willing to acknowledge.

“Scots in general, even those who regret our departure from the EU, regard the 300-year-old social, political and economic Union as more important and more precious than a 50-year-old trade deal.”

Mr Harris is a former Labour MP.

He also led the Scottish Brexit campaign.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out a second Scottish independence referendum in November.

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He called the 2014 vote a “once-in-a-generation event”.

Mr Johnson told Sky News: “I don’t think people in this country think referendums are very wonderful for harmony.

“We had one in 2014, the British people, the people of Scotland, were told in 2014 that that was a once-in-a-generation event.”

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Asked if he would grant another vote, he said: “No, I don’t, I don’t want to have one.”

Ms Sturgeon criticised the decision to block a second referendum as “unsustainable”.

Despite being told Scotland will not be given the option to leave the UK, the SNP leader has continued over the past year to push for independence.

Even at COP26, when world leaders came together to put climate action above political action, Ms Sturgeon was accused of pushing the case for Scotland to move ahead by itself.

While the SNP may not be able to push Scotland towards independence in the coming years, Mr Harris argued that it is likely to keep its hold of the country.

He wrote: “There is absolutely no prospect of her party’s grip on Scottish politics being loosened any time soon.

“The biggest threat to her comes from her own party members, who are not prepared to wait for a whole generation before achieving their dream of separation from the UK.”

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