09:41 GMT20 October 2020
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    The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she was ‘more confident than ever’ Scotland would become independent. She did not, however, signal that a second referendum on Scottish independence was imminent, and instead emphasized that ‘the fog of Brexit’ had to clear before the decision on a second independence vote could be made.

    This is despite increased calls from independence supporters across Scotland, for a second vote. Earlier Sturgeon also indicated that the SNP would firstly support a second referendum on EU membership or a People’s Vote which is also supported by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.

    This move has however faced criticism from some quarters, as it’s been suggested that if one is to question the legitimacy of referendums then the result of second independence referendum could also be questioned. Sputnik has discussed the issue with Colin Fox, former MSP and co-spokesperson for the Scottish Socialist Party.

    Sputnik: How problematic is it for Sturgeon to back another vote on Brexit, as it could leave any future referendum result on Scottish independence open to question also?

    Colin Fox: Well the answer is yes, it's very problematic, Nicola Sturgeon's speech at conference yesterday was saying we've got to wait, we've got to be patient, we've got to make a more persuasive case for Yes — and she's right.

    The trouble is at last year's conference she was all go go go, empty threats; I think Nicola Sturgeon has completely misread the political mood on Brexit and misread the tactical relationship between Scotland leaving the EU as part of the United kingdom and Scotland gaining its independence. She's got extremely confused about it.

    And I have to say it augers badly for somebody who is arguing for a referendum on Scottish independence to say that the European referendum should be re-run because she didn't like the outcome of the vote. Now where does that leave us if the independence movement were to win indy ref two and the British state were to say 'oh no, we have to have another vote because we didn't like the outcome of that'.

    It's a very dangerous place to be selective of democracy — you have to respect democratic points of view and I think Nicola Sturgeon has misread the mood and has been tactically all over the place in Brexit for the last two years.

    Sputnik: If a People’s vote was to go ahead, and people vote to stay in the EU, how could that affect a second independence referendum?

    Colin Fox: First of all I have to say I don't think there'll be any chance of a People's Vote. I read the situation closely, I've been following it for about two years now.

    All the indications are there's about to be a deal signed, it's about to go through the parliament in December, there will not be a general election, there will not be any People's Vote. And as much as I'm loathed to admit it Theresa May hit it on the nail last week at her conference — there was a vote, the was a people's vote — the people voted to leave and politicians…

    I was at the time in favor of remaining, it was the lesser of two evils, but you accept the result and you move on. And Nicola Sturgeon has been guilty in my opinion of advocating her own 'project fear'.

    She's been talking and predicting all these 'fire and brimstone' prophecies and forecasts about what would happen after the Brexit vote in 2016, the interim period, the uncertainty between it and what Brexit will mean and none of them have happened!

    Sputnik: Herald writer Iain McWhirter has suggested that indyref2 could be delayed by as much as 10 years; what do you think about that and when do you think if should be called?

    Colin Fox: Well Iain McWhirter is another one who has been wrong many, many times in the last couple of years, but as for his prediction — he could well be right because the crucial consideration is — I'm only in favor of another referendum if we're going to win it.

    The experience of independence supporters in Quebec is a salutary lesson. They had two referendums in quick succession, they lost the second one by a hair's breadth, but now independence is off the agenda for 20 years and will be for the next 20. So what Iain's driving is that it could well be off the agenda for 10 years but the independence movement has got to come forward with a far more persuasive case than last time. Our achilles heel was a poor economic case, that case has not been given sufficient attention and improvement.

    The Sustainable Growth Commisson's report certainly doesn't improve it — you could argue it makes it even worse — drawing neoliberal conclusions about privatization and drawing in investment incentives for capital etc — it's looking in the wrong direction.

    So the independence movement — and I suppose this, to be fair, is what Nicola Sturgeon was said in her speech yesterday, needs to make a far persuasive case and needs to stop talking to itself and start talking to the 'don't knows' in particular, who are not as yet persuaded as to the advantages they will accrue if Scotland is an independent country.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Colin Fox and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    sentiment, economy, independence, referendum, election, Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon, Colin Fox, Scotland, United Kingdom
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