Is Scotland sleepwalking into independence?

The Liberal Democrats will this evening warn of the SNP achieving independence by the back door.

The Liberal Democrats will this evening warn of the SNP achieving independence by the back door

Declaring that “the Nationalist campaign continues”, Scottish Lib Dem Leader Willie Rennie will use a lecture at the David Hume Institute this evening in Edinburgh to warn of the consequences of the SNP holding the balance of power after May’s General Election.

“The SNP want independence by the back door,” Rennie will say. “As a minimum they say they want a form of ultra-extreme devolution that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world and which would inevitably tip Scotland into independence.”

Accusing the SNP of having a flare for “redefining what an election was about” after the votes have been counted, he will continue:

“They told us the day before the referendum that it was a once-in-a-generation thing. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon stood beside a poster saying ‘One Opportunity’. The day after that referendum they started planning the next one.

“I find it inconceivable that their target to win every Scottish constituency in May will not result in an attempt by them to get independence by the back door.”

Last week, Alex Salmond, who will be contesting the House of Commons seat of Gordon argued that for Scotland, the General Election will be about delivering “real home rule.”

Rennie will continue:

“Those who thought that winning the referendum by almost half a million votes was enough to put the issue to bed or even a lifetime need to think again. The Nationalist campaign continues.”

His comments have been ridiculed by the SNP, with a spokesperson having concluded:

“Poor Willie Rennie – the Lib Dems have been propping up the Tories for so long that they are now alienating themselves from even their very few remaining supporters.”

The developments come amidst ongoing questions over whether Labour would be prepared to do a deal with the SNP if that could secure Ed Miliband a majority to form a government.

Speaking to the Andrew Marr programme on Sunday Miliband declared, “I’m not about deals and coalitions.”

His reluctance to give a clearer response however contrasted sharply with that of Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader, Kezia Dugdale, who earlier this month argued that she would have “no qualms whatsoever about working with the SNP.”

The former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish has also argued that it is important for Labour to maintain a dialogue with the SNP.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

7 Responses to “Is Scotland sleepwalking into independence?”

  1. JohnMcDonaldish

    Good grief! In September 9 out of 20 voters made a very concious decision to leave the Union. There is no sleepwalking going on. People will vote SNP in May to get the best for Scotland.

    They may then decide they want another referendum when they will most likely vote Yes to independence but definitely through the front door and very much awake to their reasons.

  2. Gary Scott

    Sleepwalking through the back door to independence by voting for it? Hmmm..

  3. Scott Dearden

    Independence was rejected by the electorate after unionist parties promised such things as – Home Rule, Devomax, Near-Federalism, Significant new powers, a powerhouse parliamnet etc etc etc. The SNP is standing on a platform of holding the Unionist parties to their promises and negotiating as many concessions as possible. If the people of Scotland want the SNP to act as their power brokers in Westminster they will vote SNP. If they trust Labour to follow through with radical change they will vote Labour. This isn’t some shady evil master plan by the SNP, it’s democracy in action.

  4. Guest

    It was rejected. Then you talk about how you’ll hold the Union hostage.

    Not shady, right.

  5. Scott Dearden

    Hold it hostage? Holding parties to their pre-referendum promises seems rather reasonable to me.

    In a hung parliament parties negotiate with one another to pass policies. This is the normal process of democracy. In most European countries this happens after every election. So no, not shady. Remember, if people dont want devomax they won’t vote SNP. Nobody is forcing anyone to do so.

  6. swat

    YES! … and about time too!
    This drop in oil is just temp, and the price per barrell will perk up again, and we’ll be paying the real costs of getting it out of the earth and the pollution it causes. Surely nuclear and wind etc are better.

  7. Guest

    You are not limiting yourself to those promises, per your post.

    And you’re trying to present your party as the only option for those who want devo-max. Shady!

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