Nicola Sturgeon 'cannot deliver a referendum' says Alex Massie
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Nicola Sturgeon has maintained she wants a new referendum on Scottish independence to be held before the end of this parliamentary term in 2026. The Scottish First Minister this week dismissed speculation about potentially retiring before such a vote is held but the SNP leader has now been warned she is unlikely a poll will take place due to a significant strategical flaw. Speaking to BBC Scotland’s The Nine, columnist Alex Massie said Ms Sturgeon will not be able to deliver a referendum as she continuously has to hype up support from her own folds.
Mr Massey said: “There is a difference between her being passionate about a referendum and actually being able to deliver it.
“You know this is fantastical conversation Nicola Sturgeon cannot deliver a referendum.
“She has to lead her supporters up to the top of the mountain every so often just to keep their spirits up but it does not change the fundamental reality.
“There is no prospect there is nobody at Holyrood believes seriously there is going to be a referendum on anything like the timescale the First Minister pretends.”
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Mr Massie continued: “And it seems to me we might be a bit better off if we accepted that and recognised it, moved on, and talked about other things.
“It is now six years since Nicola Sturgeon said her quote ‘defining mission’ unquote was closing the attainment gap between rich and poor kids in Scotland’s schools”
“She didn’t seem to be spending very much time talking about that these days so perhaps it was never her defining mission.”
Claiming the Scottish people had not asked for another referendum, Mr Massie added: “A referendum is not going to happen until such time as a clear majority of people in Scotland make it clear they want one,
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“That desire is not present at the moment and it is very important to see the circumstances in which it becomes apparent in the next couple of years.”
Belgian ports have been reportedly preparing for Scottish independence after Ms Sturgeon met with Jan Jambon, the minister-president of Flanders earlier this week, to discuss what independence would mean for their trade deals.
Mr Jambon, who leads the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium, met with Nicola Sturgeon to discuss new trading opportunities, presenting new ideas for both countries in the case that Nicola Sturgeon manages to secure Scottish independence.
He said: “If Scotland becomes independent in a few years, it will want to join the European Union as soon as possible.
“From then on, she will no longer want to have her exports go through England but to ship them by sea directly to the continent.
“This is a huge opportunity that Antwerp and Zeebrugge must already anticipate now. Our ports must be ready to become at that time the main partner of the Scots.”
The last YouGov poll on support for independence found 46 percent of the 1,060 respondents were in favour of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.
A survey by Opinum conducted in September on behalf of Sky News was the last time the Yes vote had a majority over No by 44 to 43 percent.
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