Ian Blackford demands Article 50 mechanism to get Scotland out of UK

Indyref2: Ian Blackford demands Article 50 mechanism

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Ian Blackford has promised to “flesh out the details” of a Scottish exit from the United Kingdom as the SNP look to force through a referendum at the next general election. Despite the UK’s highest authority ruling that an independence vote could not go ahead without the consent of the British Government, the SNP’s Westminster leader suggested a mechanism such as Article 50 in relation to Brexit should be in place for Scotland’s departure. Mr Blackford then said the SNP had to “show people we can deliver the hope” of Scottish independence.

Mr Blackford said: “When we go back to Brexit, you and I will remember all the debates that took place. 

“In particular, [conversations were had] about the triggering of Article 50, because that is the mechanism for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. 

“What is the mechanism for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom with Westminster continuing to say ‘No’? 

“And I have to say that while there is a bit of triumphalism from some in the Tory side, in particular, I think we need to reflect very carefully on how this is going to look in Scotland because people are legitimately asking the question of what rights do we have to be able to leave this union.”

Asked if he could guarantee leaving the United Kingdom would improve Scotland’s economy, as well as how long that would take to be realised, Mr Blackford said: “I promise you that we will. 

“I hope, at some point, to have a longer discussion about this because I am determined to go into the details of it with people that are interested. 

“So, for example, when I am finished with this interview today, I am going into a discussion with two individuals about agreed industrial strategy. 

“I am absolutely determined that we flesh out the details of this and show people exactly what we are trying to do and how we will deliver the different policies because that is what is necessary. 

“We have got to show people we can deliver the hope, not just some kind of slogan on the side of a bus, as we had with Brexit.” 

Following the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court against the possibility of a second independence referendum without the consent of the British Government, the SNP have been vocal about their intentions to still push for a vote. 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, in an impassioned speech, said: “As long as there is breath in my body, I refuse to give up on the basic principle of democracy.”

She said a special SNP conference will be held in the new year “to discuss and agree the detail of a proposed de facto referendum”, using the next UK election.

The SNP currently enjoy a sizeable majority in Scottish Parliament, according to Mr Blackford, and they have argued that an increased hold on Holyrood should force a referendum to take place. 


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But if the SNP continues to focus on securing a second referendum, there is a risk Scots could grow frustrated given the need for an immediate address of the recession and cost of living crisis. 

In a statement, the Scottish Conservatives called on the SNP to “drop their referendum obsession and focus on what really matters to the people of Scotland”.

“The country faces enormous challenges right now,” said party leader Douglas Ross. “Our economy and our NHS are in crisis.”

On Thursday, teachers in Scotland walked out on strike for the first time in forty years over pay disputes, while Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced it will hold two days of strikes in December. 


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