Malcolm Chisholm: “If we had continuing Conservative government I think Scotland would vote for independence and I think I would as well”
Scottish independence will ‘become inevitable’ if the Conservatives remain in power, according to former minister Malcolm Chisholm.
The respected Scottish Labour veteran has said he ‘might’ vote for independence in the future if the Tory governments persist..
Chisholm said: “if we have continuing Conservative governments independence will become inevitable. I might in future vote for independence.”
He added: “If we had continuing Conservative government I think Scotland would vote for independence and I think I would as well.”
A Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times conducted in June found public support for independence was at 49% – leaving a referendum too close to call.
Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice this weekend said: “it seems that the days when unionists could claim with confidence that Scots do not want another independence referendum any time soon may have come to an end.”
“This is a significant intervention from a figure respected across the political divide.
“Just like Malcolm Chisholm, people across Scotland are looking at the Brexit mess and the prospect of more Tory governments with despair.
“Independence will give Scotland control over our own future, rather than being faced with the prospect of endless Tory governments we didn’t vote for.”
These comments come amid concern from the SNP that potential Conervative leader Boris Johnson is not a fan of the Barnett Formula, having previously referred to the system as ‘reckless’ – falsely claiming ‘the English taxpayer sends about £20 billion every year to Scotland as a kind of present’.
The Barnett Formula is a mechanism used by the Treasury to automatically adjust the amounts of public spending allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to reflect changes in spending levels allocated to public services in the rest of the UK.
SNP MSP Tom Arthur said:“It is outrageous that the Tories are now plotting to use Brexit as an opportunity to railroad systematic cuts to Scotland’s budget – offering a grim insight into what Scotland can expect from the next Tory Prime Minister.
“The Tories have longed for the opportunity to hammer Scotland’s budget for years – but the people of Scotland won’t stand by while Westminster politicians plot to cut money from our vital public services to fund their disastrous no-deal Brexit.
“Yet again the mask has slipped and fatally undermined the Tories’ attempts to portray themselves as working in Scotland’s best interests. It’s time to take our future into our own hands.
“More and more voters are ready to choose a different path to secure a brighter vision for a better Scotland.”
The SNP has demanded the Tories immediately rule out wide scale funding cuts for public services in Scotland.
Danny Thompson is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Twitter here.
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