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    Deputy Scottish First Minister Keith Brown has said that Scotland could hold a referendum on Scottish independence, with or without permission from Westminster. However Nicola Sturgeon maintains that there would need to be the same legal agreement in place as there was in 2014 for Scotland to hold IndyRef2.

    Sputnik spoke to Colin Fox, national co-spokesperson for the Scottish Socialist Party, who said that we cannot have a second referendum without Westminster granting Section 30, and this is unlikely to happen. He suggests employing a different tactic to generate support for Indyref2.

    Sputnik: How problematic will it be for indyref2 that the UK may not grant another section 30?

    Colin Fox: Well it's a big problem because without a Section 30 order a referendum is neither legal nor binding. So this Section 30 order refers to the 1998 Scotland Act that set up the Scottish parliament and decided which powers would be reserved to Westminster and which powers would be devolved to Holyrood.

    So the constitution is clearly one of those that is reserved to Westminster and therefore any referendum, including the one we had in 2014, needs to have the legal permission from Westminster for it happen. Otherwise it's non-binding, it's consultative, it's meaningless and therefore everybody can ignore any result that accrues from it, so it's pretty crucial, yes.

    Sputnik: Could we see Scotland hold an unofficial referendum? Deputy SNP leader Keith Brown has suggested that the Scottish Government might do this regardless of the Westminster position…

    Colin Fox: Yes I think Keith Brown is right and wrong; of course we could do it, but it would be meaningless. It wouldn't mean a thing. It would not be legal, nobody needs to abide by it and the 'No' side would abstain; why would you participate in a referendum you don't want and a referendum that has not point or purpose?

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    Unlike in 2014, both sides were in favour of a referendum, this time there isn't a majority of support even for a referendum, leaving aside the idea of what that outcome would be. I'm afraid in this instance at least Keith Brown is wrong and Nicola Sturgeon is right.

    I'm not in favour of a pretty pointless…it's almost reducing the independence debate to an Edinburgh festival show. This is serious and I think often my colleagues in the SNP often underestimate the British state — they're absolutely determined not to see Scotland independent and they'll do almost anything to stop that from happening. That being the case — never underestimate your enemies — that's been my experience in politics.

    Sputnik: Under what circumstances could we see Westminster grant a section 30 order do you think?

    Colin Fox: I don't see any. People talk about if it was a Corbyn-led Westminster government instead of Theresa May — but it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference. Labour is as opposed to independence as the Tories are. People then say 'well what if Jeremy Corbyn had a minority government and relied on the SNP for support?' — they still wouldn't grant an independence referendum because it's in the DNA of the Unionist parties to oppose it.

    I see my colleague and friend Dennis Canavan has talked a little bit mysteriously about a 'plan B'; in that regard I think he's right. If they don't allow a Section 30 order then the independence movement needs to decide which strategy it employs to in effect, force the question. And for me, we need to get a majority for independence.

    Support for independence has never yet been in majority terms, we're still a minority. Once we get that majority support, if they won't allow us a binding legal referendum we have other tactics to employ, such as the use of civil disobedience.

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    The majority make it clear that we're not going to comply with the rules and regulations our 'oppressors' — if you want to use that word — in London insist we must follow. So there are other tactics we can employ and there have been other tactics used by independence supporters in Scotland over the last 50 years, and maybe we need another one.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the speaker 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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