Scottish Premier Sturgeon has been at the forefront of the independence movement for years. She renewed her calls to break with the rest of the UK after the EU referendum, then asked the majority of pro-independence MPs elected in Holyrood in May to hold a second public vote on the issue. However, Downing Street has repeatedly refused to give her the constitutional powers to hold a legitimate referendum after she – and the rest of the Scottish National Party (SNP) – pledged the 2014 vote was a ‘once in a generation ”.
Ms Sturgeon pledged she would resume the fight for independence once the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
But this approach has recently come under intense scrutiny, with some nationalists growing impatient with its attitude, especially since the SNP has been in power since 2007.
Top scholar Dr Elliot Bulmer denounced Ms Sturgeon in a recent commentary for the Scottish newspaper The National.
He alleged that the independence movement feels like it has “wandered the wilderness for a long time” – even though the SNP appears to have a “credible constitutional plan” for a new Scottish state.
He said: “The Scottish Parliament opened 22 years ago.
“Election after election, Pharaoh’s army of blue rosette conservatives was drowned in a Yellow Sea of SNP votes.
“Yet we don’t seem any closer to the Promised Land.
“Where’s the milk and honey?” Are we drifting into the wilderness, waiting for the Section 30 order to magically appear? “
The Section 30 Ordinance is a temporary transfer of power from Downing Street to Holyrood, passed by the Parliament at Westminster, and is part of Scottish law.
Such an ordinance has been used 16 times since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999 and will allow PSMs to legislate on a range of matters relevant to Scotland.
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Former Prime Minister David Cameron signed an Article 30 ordinance ahead of the 2014 independence referendum alongside then Prime Minister Alex Salmond, known as the Edinburgh Accord .
Ms Sturgeon even drew up a plan to make such a transfer power permanent in 2019, arguing: “It is a fundamental democratic principle that the decision whether or not to become independent from Scotland should rest with the people who live in Scotland.”
She also claimed that the Westminster government “was rejected by the Scottish people” after the Tories scored poorly in the Scottish seats for the 2019 general election.
The Prime Minister said she was calling on Downing Street to “ensure that a transfer of power is made from Westminster to Holyrood so that a new independence referendum is not challenged in court”.
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The same challenge promised “a referendum should be held before the end of 2020 but the precise timing will be a matter of decision by the Scottish Parliament”.
Ms Sturgeon defended this claim after the SNP won 48 out of 59 seats in Scotland in the general election – while the Tories only won six.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson continued to give up and ignore Indyref2’s calls.
The SNP then lost one seat less than the majority to Holyrood in the May election with 64 seats, meaning it will now have to rely on the Scottish Greens independence party to support its motions in Parliament.
This is a sharp drop from the number of seats the Nationalists had in 2011, when Mr Salmond won 69 seats – and even with this public support, the SNP lost the 2014 referendum on the independence.
Mr Johnson has shown no indication of a change in his anti-Indyref2 stance, declaring it “irresponsible and reckless”.
Dr Bulmer also claimed the Scots were “further than ever” from independence as the nationalists “went around in circles”.
He alleged that the constitutional plan for an independent Scotland “appears to have been abandoned”, adding: “There is no indication that the current SNP leadership knows what a constitution is, what a constitution does or why a constitution is essential and an integral part of the advocacy for independence.
He demanded: “If SNP leaders still believe in independence, they must show it – now – by doing the preparatory work necessary to achieve it. “
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This notice was published: 2021-07-04 19:10:00