SNP 'will not accept' Westminster veto of second Scottish independence referendum, leaked memo suggests

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - Credit: PA

Nicola Sturgeon is planning to ignore Westminster's veto on holding a second independence referendum, a leaked party memo has suggested.

The National is reporting that SNP MPs Angus MacNeil and Chris McEleny will have their motion debate alternative legal routes to independence during this year's party conference approved.

Dubbed "Plan B", the motion suggests Holyrood should take the UK government to court to see if it can hold a referendum without Westminster's consent.

Failing that, next May's elections should be viewed as a de facto vote on independence, the MPs argue.

The SNP is expected to win next year's election by a landslide.

MORE: Leaked memo exposes government fears over rise in support for Scottish independence

Documents of the SNP's provisional conference agenda shared with The National state that the May 2021 poll should give "no justification whatsoever for the Westminster government to seek to veto that democratic choice nor should we accept such a veto".

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It went on: "Conference agrees that if there is a majority in the Scottish parliament after the Holyrood election in May for a fresh referendum on independence there can be no justification whatsoever for the Westminster government to seek to veto that democratic choice nor should we accept such a veto.

"Conference believes any attempt to block the right of people in Scotland to decide how they should be governed would be both undemocratic and unsustainable, and would only strengthen support for independence."

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The SNP will hold its conference from November 28 to November 30.

Responding to the independence resolution, McEleny said: “We will say that we won’t accept a Westminster veto to indyref2 but have no plan for when that outcome becomes a reality. We said we wouldn’t accept the Boris veto after last years General Election, and we did.

“We can huff and puff as much as we want, but without a plan we most certainly will not be blowing Boris Johnson’s opposition down.”

This comes as polling shows that support for a second referendum is at an all-time high since the 2014 vote.

According to an October survey by JL Partners, 56% of respondents said that they supported independence once the don't knows were excluded. 

It also follows Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross' comment that Brexit has been fuelling calls for independence.

Ross said there has been a failure to resolve Brexit divisions and that the SNP government at Holyrood “benefits from intergovernmental disputes”.

In a keynote speech for the right-wing Policy Exchange think tank, Ross said: “Brexit has been damaging to support for the UK because it undermined, in the eyes of many, those shared values.”

He added: “Last month I said that independence was not inevitable, I truly believe that is the case."

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