IndyRef2: Support for independence 'has dropped' claims Bowie
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Scottish Conservative MP Andrew Bowie has said the Scottish vote could be changed as the Holyrood elections draw closer. He noted that recent polls have shown a drop in Scots supporting independence in a warning to Nicola Sturgeon. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Bowie said: “I think their minds could be changed.
“Although recent polls do show that a majority of Scots show they’re more in favour of independence than before, the most recent poll was the fourth in the row that support for independence had actually dropped.
“When you include the don’t knows, only 49 percent in that last poll supported independence.
“That’s far too high for someone who supports Scotland maintaining its place in the UK but it’s far below the 60 percent that Nicola Sturgeon said she would like to see before she calls another referendum.
“And certainly far below before anyone could be confident in one outcome or the other.”
He added: “I think when we get back to politics as normal and start examining the SNP’s record in government, start examining the benefits of Scotland being in the UK.”
Mr Bowie also noted that the first minister should be focused on the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding the economy.
He said: “It’s a perfectly valid position for a political party or movement to have Scotland separate from the UK, it’s equally valid for a party to want to see Scotland rejoin the European Union.
“However I do not think it should be the priority for anybody right now.
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“It seems to me remarkable that whilst we’re still battling Covid which is still a real and present danger to the people of Scotland that we should be speaking about anything other than getting jabs into people’s arms, getting the country open for business again, getting the economy moving and ensuring that we save as many jobs as possible.
“That has to be the focus for any Government at any level across the UK.
“Another divisive referendum will put, as we saw last time, family against family.
“With all the knock on consequences of disruption, uncertainty for business and the economy in general, it just seems a complete dereliction of duty from the SNP Government to be focusing on that rather than on getting this country back to normal following coronavirus.”
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It comes as Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said it would be “wholly irresponsible” for a referendum on Scottish independence to be held this year.
He made the comments after the SNP published its 11-point “road map” towards a second vote.
But Mr Ross said people are “absolutely deluded” if they think a referendum should be held rather than focusing on the country’s economic recovery from Covid-19.
Asked about the prospect of an “unofficial” referendum being staged if a Section 30 request to hold one is rejected by the UK Government, Mr Ross said: “That’s what the SNP say they will do if they get a majority.”
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