BBC QT clash erupts as Michelle Dewberry ruthlessly picks apart SNPs economic argument

Question Time: Dewberry says SNP may not meet EU 'criteria'

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Michelle Dewberry clashed with the SNP’s chief finance secretary over Nicola Sturgeon’s economic plans for an independent Scotland on BBC Question Time. The GB News presenter and former Brexit Party candidate admitted that Scotland would inevitably hold another referendum after the pandemic, due to the UK’s departure from the EU. However, she picked apart SNP proposals for an independent Scotland, saying she “still does not understand even an ounce of what Scotland’s economic plans would be after independence”.

She added an independent Scotland “might not even meet the criteria” to re-enter the EU

Ms Dewberry said: “It’s been seven years since the last referendum and I still don’t understand even an ounce of what Scotland’s economic plans would be.

“For example, how on earth you think you would fund this deficit as an independent country is beyond me.

“And re-joining the EU is going to be very tricky because the EU can’t be seen to encourage Scotland to leave and re-join.”

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She continued: “We are assuming Scotland can re-join the EU – but they might not even meet the criteria.

“But if they do, the EU will have it in the neck from countries in the EU at the moment who have challenging separatist movements that the EU doesn’t need to be stoking.”

One audience member questioned whether Scottish independence is “actually viable”.

She said experts should look at whether “Scotland can afford to fund itself” outside of the UK.

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The audience member added: “Nicola Sturgeon has complained so much about having a border down the Irish Sea but she wants to put one right across the mainland of the UK!”

Another audience member said that people are “still healing” from the 2014 independence referendum which was “very divisive for families and friendships”.

She complained: “It’s just a never-endum that needs to be brought to a close”


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Ms Forbes did not answer these points head-on but insisted a second independence referendum is “the democratic route” to draw a conclusion on the independence debate.

She asked: “Is this union one based on partnership of consent, or does it only exist through a force of law?”

Nicola Sturgeon has challenged Boris Johnson to explain whether he would block Scottish government legislation to stage a referendum – claiming it would be “outrageous” for the issue to end up in the Supreme Court.

The SNP and Scottish Greens won a total of 72 seats in Holyrood on a record turnout for the Scottish Parliament elections of 63 percent.

This turnout is ten percent higher than on average for a Scottish Parliament election.

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