Scottish independence is ‘not inevitable’ says Douglas Ross
Douglas Ross said the SNP Government received £8.6billion in funding to support Scottish businesses but he claimed only a fraction of it has gone to Scots. He said that the SNP also will not mention that the funding came from the UK Government. Speaking to the Centre for Policy Studies, Mr Ross said: “We know £8.6billion has come from the UK Government to the Scottish Government to help them fight this pandemic.
“It just seems childish and no reason for them to not even mention the UK Government when the finance secretary in Scotland was writing a 900-word article about the support.
“People understand that the UK has come together to support all parts of the country.
“What I am keen to focus on was the fact that despite all this coming to Scotland, we know there is hundreds of millions of pounds of that sitting with the Scottish Government rather than getting out to businesses.
“We know they have issued a fraction of the support they got to the businesses who need it right now.
“They have been very good at launching new schemes and saying this support will be available and then it takes weeks for that support to form into a document that councillors can use to issue to the businesses that need it.
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“I would rather they focus far more on delivering this support than publicising schemes about it which takes months to actually get to the businesses that need it to protect the jobs that are so vital in Scotland.”
It comes as the SNP has revealed a “roadmap to a referendum” on Scottish independence, setting out how they intend to take forward their plans for a second vote.
Mike Russell, the Scottish Government’s Constitution Secretary, unveiled the 11-point document to the party’s policy forum on Sunday.
The document said “legal referendum” will be held after the pandemic if there is a pro-independence majority following May’s election.
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The roadmap states any attempt by the UK Government to challenge the legality of the referendum in the courts will be “vigorously opposed”.
A Section 30 order – part of the Scotland Act 1998 which allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster – was granted by the UK Government ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.
Mr Russell says the UK Government could either agree that Holyrood already has the power to hold a second referendum or agree to a Section 30 order – something he said would put the question of legality “beyond any doubt”.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated his opposition to a second independence referendum.
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As the roadmap document was published on Saturday, Mr Russell said: “I firmly believe that Scotland’s referendum must be beyond legal challenge to ensure legitimacy and acceptance at home and abroad.
“This is the surest way by far to becoming an independent country.
“The referendum should be held after the pandemic, at a time to be decided by the democratically elected Scottish Parliament. The SNP believes that should be in the early part of the new term.”
He continued: “Today I am setting out how I believe that right can be secured, and I welcome the discussion that will take place around this idea and others.
“But what is absolutely not for discussion is the fact that if Scotland votes for a legal referendum on May 6 this year, that is what it will get. The SNP Scottish Government will deliver such a referendum if re-elected and the proposals I am putting forward make that very clear.”
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