Indyref2: Scottish independence cost discussed by expert
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Michael Russell, director of the party’s independence unit, said the Nats were teaming up with campaign groups to produce a new eight-page newspaper dedicated to separation. Mr Russell, Scotland’s former Constitution Secretary, said the free of charge publication would be delivered to SNP branches around November 15 followed by a mass distribution drive to homes before November 30.
The former MSP said the move marks the “next phase” of the party’s campaign for a second Scottish independence referendum.
He added in an email to members: “We’re at our strongest when we bring our energy and hope for a better Scotland to our doorsteps and communities.
“We want this to get into as many houses and as many hands as possible in the run-up to St Andrew’s Day.
“[It] also confirms the need for the YES movement to pull together with a direct and clear independence message in order to build a successful independence campaign.”
The paper, Mr Russell says, will aim to target Scots “who may not yet be convinced” on Scotland’s “democratic right to choose its future” with a post-pandemic vote.
But Ian Murray, Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary, said: “Delivering junk mail to people’s homes is not going to change the fact that the SNP has no positive vision for Scotland’s future or answers to the basic questions.
“This newsletter won’t talk about the impact of a hard border with England, the impact of scrapping the pound on people’s finances, or the impact for our schools and hospitals of cutting Scotland’s public spending.
“Just imagine if the SNP put as much effort into tackling child poverty or addressing the NHS crisis as it does on its obsession with the constitution.”
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Alex-Cole Hamilton MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, added: “At a time when we’re all supposed to be focusing on reducing waste, the SNP is planning the country’s biggest junk mail program.
“If only the SNP would pour the energy they spend agitating over independence into tackling the huge challenges facing health, education and the environment.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a second vote would take place before the end of 2023 subject to the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled out holding a second separation vote, describing an independence referendum as “once in a generation”.
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It comes after the Scottish First Minister was accused of making a “chilling” and “distasteful” suggestion that the deaths of older Scots could deliver the break up of Britain.
The First Minister came under fire after suggesting “time” and “demographics” were on the side of separation in her bid for a second vote.
She also used a newspaper interview earlier this month to compare the constitutional battle to a “waiting game”, sparking criticism that she was awaiting the deaths of elderly pro-Union voters.
The SNP has been contacted for comment.
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