Sturgeon issued independence green light as Starmer and Johnson told: ‘It’s too late’

Keir Starmer: 'It's not the time' for second Scotland referendum

Scotland’s First Minister has spent the past year, in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, pushing the case for a second independence referendum., Prime Minister Boris Johnson has, however, repeatedly refused to entertain the idea. This week, he further dampened Ms Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party’s (SNP) hopes after reiterating the SNP’s own 2014 independence referendum mantra – that the vote was a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity.

He said the gap between the referendums on Europe – the first in 1975 and the second in 2016 – was an example of a “good sort of gap”, while speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

In other words, Scotland should not think about calling another referendum until 2055.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer seems less laid back in his approach to the question of Scottish independence, last month announcing his plans to open a “constitutional commission” that would spread devolution to all corners of the UK.

On hearing the news Ms Sturgeon branded him a “constitutional tinkerer”, adding that Scottish Labour had no chance of challenging the SNP’s dominance north of the border.

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Many noted that the Labour leader might be fearful that Scottish independence would send his party into oblivion.

And while the move has marked efforts from Labour to tighten all four corners of the UK, Steven Fielding, Professor of Political History at the University of Nottingham, told Express.co.uk that “it might be too late” to prevent Scots from voting to leave.

He said: “As we speak we know that there is a majority in Scotland, and an increasing one for independence.

“Sir Keir’s plans are about Scotland, not Wales or Northern Ireland.

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“As things stand, the one argument the SNP has, the strongest one it has, is a Tory Government led by Boris Johnson.

“If things remain the same, it’s very likely they’ll push for a referendum in the future and they’ll win it.

“Starmer’s argument is that if we don’t say we’re going to devolve power, as a kind of way to keep the Scots in the union, they’re going to leave – he’s the only leading politician that wants a union and wants to do something about it.

“Whether it works or not, I don’t know – it might be too late.”

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According to several polls, if an independence referendum was called today, Scotland would vote “Yes” to leaving the UK.

Holyrood’s spring elections take place at the beginning of May this year.

The SNP are thought to be keen on gauging national sentiment for independence during the ballot.

Campaigners elsewhere in Scotland have ramped up the race to secure a legally-binding independence referendum.

Independence advocate Martin Keatings is already pursuing a legal case which argues that the Scottish parliament has the power to stage a second referendum on its own.

Should he win, it could set the precedent for the SNP to hold a referendum alongside the May election.

The 2014 referendum, granted by then Prime Minister David Cameron, was led by former SNP leader Alex Salmond.

He lost the vote, as the “No” camp won by 55 percent to the “Yes” team’s 44 percent, and stepped down from the role.

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