19:44 GMT05 March 2021
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    In 2014, the people of Scotland voted to reject independence and to remain in the United Kingdom. But the Scottish National Party (SNP) is pushing for a second referendum, claiming that Brexit has changed the situation.

    The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has accused the SNP of being “out of touch” with ordinary Scots after its national executive committee set aside £600,000 on a second independence referendum.

    Douglas Ross told the Daily Mail: "This clearly shows where the SNP’s priorities lie. As Scotland continues to fight the pandemic, they are focused on pressing ahead with plans for a reckless referendum potentially as early as this year".

    Mr Ross added: "Setting aside this vast sum of money to help preparations for another referendum shows their commitment to return Scotland to the politics of division all over again."
    © REUTERS / POOL
    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrives for the First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood

    An SNP spokesman said: "Douglas Ross is a shameless hypocrite. We’ll get on with the day job of leading Scotland’s recovery while they blow millions of public cash on pro-union propaganda”.

    ​Last month, during a trip to Scotland which was heavily criticised by Nicola Sturgeon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Endless talk about a referendum without any clear description of what the constitutional situation would be after that referendum is completely irrelevant now to the concerns of most people".

    Mr Johnson said of a proposed second referendum: "We don't actually know what the referendum would set out to achieve. We don't know what the point of it would be - what happens to the army, what happens to the Crown, what happens to the pound, what happens to the Foreign Office. Nobody will tell us what it's all meant to be about".
    Tags:
    independence referendum, Scottish referendum, 2nd referendum, Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), SNP, Scotland
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