Nicola Sturgeon should 'get on with it' says Alex Salmond
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The Scottish Government has repeatedly said it will rejoin the bloc if a second independence referendum is successful. This is despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously warning it should be up to 40 years before another vote is held. It comes after Scottish people voted against independence with a majority of 55 percent in 2014.
Now Kenny MacAskill, the Alba Party MP for East Lothian, warned the SNP’s focus on keeping ties with the EU would be “looking back, not preparing to go forward”.
The SNP defector wrote in the Scotsman: “But those pursuing Independence need to detail much more and, in particular, how Scotland addresses Brexit.
“Simply trumpeting about going back into the EU won’t wash. That’s probably at least five years down the line and we can’t just sit and twiddle our thumbs until then, even if that’s what Scots would wish, which is itself arguable.
“For sure, access to the Single Market’s imperative but that can be resolved by membership of the European Free Trade Association (Efta).
“Re-joining the EU would necessitate a hard border with the rest of the UK, which is an anathema to many and undermines the case for independence.
“In any event the political union’s more controversial now, as the EU faces challenges with the departure of Merkel, Le Pen’s threat to Macron and the continued rightward drift of the likes of Hungary and Poland.
“SNP positioning though seems to be EU membership, irrespective of whatever happens or whatever the cost.
“To avoid alienating them, the SNP concentrates on looking back, not preparing to go forward, as for some of them EU membership’s more important than independence and they were cultivated by Nicola Sturgeon.”
The First Minister has repeatedly insisted an independent Scotland will join the EU.
She even told Europe that Scotland would be back soon, just after the Brexit transition period ended at 11pm on December 31.
She wrote on Twitter: “Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on.”
The First Minister has also used the EU as an argument for an independent Scotland.
She wrote on Politico last month: “Sadly, as with so much of the Brexit process, and indeed other matters, the voice of Scotland, in what was conceived as a voluntary union of nations, has been ignored by the government in Westminster.
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“Like all countries, we are thinking deeply about how to build a better society and a better world after the crisis is over.
“And for Scotland, I firmly believe our best future lies in once again joining the EU, which we were a part of for 47 years — this time as an independent country fully committed to the shared endeavour of EU membership and to our common European values.
“The people of Scotland may have lost — for now — the rights and responsibilities that come with EU citizenship, but we have not lost our commitment to European values.
“In the meantime, my heartfelt plea to all EU citizens in Scotland is this: You are part of us; please stay.”
However, her desperate plea appears to have fallen on deaf ears in Westminster.
Earlier this year, Mr Johnson said it would be “irresponsible and reckless” to hold another referendum.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “I think a referendum in the current context is irresponsible and reckless.
“I think there’s been an eloquent testimonial during the pandemic to the power of the union.”
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