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Express.co.uk understands Michael Gove has been holding private meetings with rival politicians on the issue. Meanwhile, George Galloway has openly approached rival Scottish political parties to form a pact.
It comes after support for Scottish independence reached 55 percent earlier this month whilst polling puts the SNP on course for a majority at next year’s Scottish Parliament elections.
Mr Galloway, the Alliance for Unity party leader, approached Scottish Labour’s Richard Leonard asking for an electoral pact when standing for Holyrood.
But speaking today, Mr Leonard declined the offer stressing that Scottish Labour can manage alone in next years’ Holyrood’s elections.
Mr Leonard said he had “made clear that the Labour Party is not interested in going into any electoral pacts” and stressed, “We will fight next year’s election as an independent, distinctive Scottish Labour Party on our own manifesto.”
Mr Galloway hinted on social media this week of the possibility of allowing thousands of Scots living elsewhere in Britain to have a say in any second independence referendum following a potential pact with the Tories.
He added on Twitter: “I’ll tell you this if there’s to be a second IndyRef, then 795,000 Scots living elsewhere in the UK must have a vote”
“If UK ex-pats can vote in general elections from Spain then an existential question like Separatism must be answered by all Scots.”
Mr Gove replied: “Interesting question” hinting at the prospect that the UK government could accept a second referendum would have to take place.
Express.co.uk understands the Cabinet Office minister had met privately with figures from other parties, including former First Labour Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell, to discuss support for the Union.
But SNP sources told this website the opposition were “scared” of the growing movement on Scottish independence.
Keth Brown, deputy leader of the SNP, added: “The SNP continue to demand the people of Scotland get to choose our future in another independence referendum rather than having an untrustworthy Tory Government – who we didn’t vote for – imposing damaging policies like Brexit on us.”
Responding to Mr Gove’s Tweet, Deputy FM John Swinney claims Westminster is “accepting the reality” that there will have to be a second referendum on independence.
Mr Swinney added: “This move and this talk is essentially an indication of an acceptance of the reality that we’re now facing.
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“That support for Scottish independence is demonstrating itself at a strong, consistent Yes position and majority support for Yes which is now emerging in a number of polls.
“So I think what we’re now seeing is the UK Government accepting that there will have to be a referendum on independence, and that’s a welcome position for them to take and it’s a democratic position for them to take.”
He continued: “We had a referendum in 2014 in which people took the view that this was a well-organised referendum, with the correct franchise in which the people who are eligible to vote here in Scotland were able to do so.
“And I think that served us well, there was an international commendation for the strength and the quality of the process we put in place in 2014.
“And I don’t think we should deviate from that because of the inconvenience for the UK Government of the fact that Yes support is now demonstrating such a strong position within Scotland.”
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