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Sturgeon has misjudged the mood with her attempts to stir up outrage and grievance

Sturgeon has misjudged the mood with her attempts to stir up outrage and grievance

Ruth Davidson MSP | The Scottish Parliament

3 min read Partner content

Ruth Davidson MSP, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party, argues that all the evidence suggests that the Scottish electorate are 'sick to death of the SNP's games.'


Nicola Sturgeon's bid for a second referendum has seen the SNP revert to traditional tactics. 

An unworkable proposal for a referendum campaign starting right now, was proposed in the knowledge it would be knocked it back.

The idea is to then stir up outrage and grievance in the Scottish Parliament debate which, over two long days, we are holding this week.

There was once a time when it might have worked.

But all the evidence suggests that many many people in Scotland are sick to death of the games, and tired of the same old constitutional tricks.

While constitutional politics is all that motivates the SNP, the fact is that most people in Scotland are not champing at the bit to plunge back into another referendum any time soon, just three years after the last one.

And most people in Scotland see the plain common sense in having a pause.

There are some good reasons for this.

Britain is about to enter the most complicated international negotiation since the end of the Second World War. It is a time to pull together, not open up more division.

But secondly, this period of uncertainty would be the worst possible moment to ask people to once again vote on such a momentous decision.

Indeed, the SNP has made my point for me. As it has pointed out, in the EU referendum, people did not feel they had the necessary facts to make an informed choice.

Yet now Nicola Sturgeon wants to make that exact same mistake herself. Under her timetable, people would be asked to vote blind.

I believe that Scottish voters cannot be expected to make a decision on our future constitutional path at a time of such uncertainty.

I argue that we deserve to see how Brexit plays out and operates before we consider whether to make such a momentous decision.

I also think it outrageous that Nicola Sturgeon wants to name a date for a referendum when – just three years after the last one – she still cannot answer basic questions on the currency, on long-term membership of the European Union, and on the cost of independence.

My party therefore will insist that there cannot be a referendum until the Brexit process is complete and until people know both what the UK and what independence looks like.

You don’t make a decision on leaving the UK by voting blind.

And we also believe there should not be one when there is no political or public consent for one.

Not when we were promised by this First Minister it wouldn’t take place for a generation.

Not when we were told it wouldn’t happen without a change of opinion.​

Not when we know it will cause more division and more uncertainty for our country.

The SNP wants to drag the country back to a place where it has stated - time and again - that it doesn't want to go. 

This has nothing to do with acting on behalf of the people of Scotland, but of trying to leverage events to promote the SNPs singular goal of separation against the will of the majority of Scots.

No wonder a new poll of Scots showed - for the first time - more support for a Conservative Prime Minister than an SNP First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon has misjudged the mood. The SNP is not Scotland, and, this week, the majority pushed back. 


Ruth Davidson is the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party and Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central

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