BORIS Johnson has been told that “everyone knows” a Scottish independence referendum is coming, so the UK Government should just “get on with it”.
The Prime Minister was answering questions from SNP MP Pete Wishart at the Westminster liaison committee this afternoon when the two clashed on the issue of Scottish independence.
Johnson’s answers in that committee hearing demonstrated “the pitiful state of the Scottish Conservatives”, according to Wishart, who said the party had to realise their position was “unsustainable, and there will be another referendum”.
The SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire asked how, if a majority of the Scottish people want to become independent, they might democratically make that a reality.
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Johnson answered that the answer would be a referendum, like one held in 2014. However, he said that the first indyref had been a “once-in-a-generation event” and that “pledge” should be honoured.
The SNP MP said Johnson’s answer was an “utter load of rubbish”, adding: “There was nothing in any of the legal texts about once-in-a-generation.
“If you want to use rhetorical flourishes Prime Minister, I think you said of the Brexit extension that you would be dead in a ditch. Well you’re sitting in front of us and that ditch is still unoccupied.”
Johnson said Brexit was over and suggested rejoining the bloc would be a “deranged” move on Scotland’s part, as it would hand control of the country’s waters “back to the EU”.
Boris Johnson’s talks with the EU dragged on past the October 2019 deadline, something he said would not happen unless he was ‘dead in a ditch’
Asked again by Wishart about a referendum, and if he was “seriously saying that democracy in Scotland doesn’t matter”, Johnson said it was not sensible to have the referendum in the middle of a pandemic.
He added: “I think it’s incredible that the Scottish National Party is focusing on a referendum when you can’t say by the way what you want this referendum to discuss. You can’t say what the prospectus is for the destruction of the United Kingdom.
“Do you want to scrap the army, scrap the pound, scrap the queen, scrap the bomb, what is it?”
Johnson said he believed people across the UK wanted to focus on “building back better together”.
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Wishart, who is the SNP’s longest serving MP, said a solution would be to have a referendum. “Not now, because it’s a pandemic, but in the first part of the next Scottish parliamentary term … you put that case to the Scottish people, we’ll put the case for why we believe Scotland should be an independent nation, and let the people decide.”
Wishart then told the Prime Minister that “you know, I know, and everybody watching this knows that a referendum is coming, why on earth [at this point Johnson muttered: “No we don’t”] don’t we just get on with it?
“If your global Brexit Britain is so wonderful, we’ll vote for that … why can’t we just get on and do it?”
Johnson answered by once again calling the SNP the Scottish nationalist party and repeating the debunked claim that the Scottish Government “wouldn’t even use the word Oxford vaccine”.
You can watch part of the exchange below: