SNP’s IndyRef2 demands savaged as BBC audience member erupts

IndyRef2: Scottish man savages referendum calls during cost crisis

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Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of attempting to “destroy the currency” in Scotland by unwaveringly pursuing a second independence referendum during a cost of living crisis. Partaking in a BBC debate night in Glasgow on Wednesday night, an audience member cited difficult mortgage rates as one of myriad reasons why it is not the time to hold a “ludicrous” referendum.

The Scottish First Minister was criticised for a “missed opportunity” by a former SNP minister regarding the announcement that sterling would remain the currency indefinitely following a successful independence campaign.  

The visibly angry audience member said: “Mortgage rates are bad just now but in less than one year Nicola Sturgeon wants to introduce another referendum 

“That is going to shoot mortgage rates hugely high and it is going to destroy the currency. 

“So why are the SNP pushing for a ludicrous independence referendum at the height of this cost of living crisis?” 

Ms Sturgeon insisted on Wednesday that an independent Scotland would lead to a “better future” for its people, despite a growing economic crisis. 

While there is disagreement over the long-term repercussions of independence, the likelihood of short-term difficulties, including tricky negotiations over a hard border with England, have left those opposing indyref2 infuriated. 

With the date for a second referendum set for October 19, 2023, Ms Sturgeon remained obstinate in the face of backlash. 

She said: “A year [from] today, I want people in Scotland to be able to go to the polls and choose a better future. And I am certain that when they are given that choice – they will vote to become independent.”

But Alex Neil, a former SNP health secretary, branded the First Minister’s 109-page paper on the economics of an independent Scotland a “missed opportunity”. 

He claimed it failed to provide convincing answers on key issues such as currency and borders, an issue that is made more problematic by the current economic crisis. 

He said: “We’ve got to be able to answer the questions in much more detail. You cannot get into a position where you have an independence referendum and there are clear contradictions between your different policies. 

“In this case, there is a clear contradiction between the policy of remaining in sterling, while at the same time hoping to join the EU. It’s irreconcilable.

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“You’ve got to give a more precise timescale for when you would expect a new currency to be set up and it has to be reasonably early on. 

“The whole point of being independent is to make sure you have the economic levers to ensure you have a growing economy.”

Ms Sturgeon has said that independence would offer more economic security than remaining in the UK but has failed, in the eyes of her opposition, to justify this claim. 

Independent experts have suggested an end to the union would lead to harsher spending cuts or tax rises, and that the move would be rejected by the financial markets, mirroring the reaction to the former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget towards the end of September. 

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