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MSP slams Scottish minister for promoting Independence referendum 'by end of 2021'

By Louise Glen

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Donald Cameron MSP.
Donald Cameron MSP.

A Freedom of Information response has shows that an SNP government minister wants a independence referendum by the end of 2021.

Constitutional secretary Michael Russell MSP told foreign government officials at a private meeting in early November that he wanted a second referendum “by end 2021”.

The Freedom of Information request notes: "Minutes of a meeting between Mike Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, and the Australian High Commissioner, George Brandis QC, on November 10 2020 states: “George Brandis enquired about the proposed timing of the referendum post the Scottish election. Mike Russell confirmed he would hope a second referendum could be held by end 2021.”

Responding to the Freedom of Information request, Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said: “It seems quite extraordinary that the SNP Government is still pushing ahead and spending time and resources developing plans for an independence referendum later this year.

Constitution secretary Michael Russell.
Constitution secretary Michael Russell.

“Here in the Highlands and Islands we are confronted with problems afflicting our major trunk roads including the A82 and A83, the ongoing ferry fiasco, a struggling hospitality and tourism sector, and the challenge of delivering the vaccine to our dispersed population.

“They appear to inhabit a different universe from the rest of us who are worrying about jobs and livelihoods, not to mention the cruel human cost of the pandemic.

“Now, more than ever, we need to pull together as a country, put these divisions to one side, and provide the stability and security which is needed as we seek to recover from the pandemic.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that the question of Scottish Independence should be 'once in a generation'.

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