Nicola Sturgeon urged to pull out SNP MPs from Westminister to force IndyRef2

Kenny MacAskill says his enemy ‘isn’t the SNP’

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In a letter to MPs and MSPs, the Scottish Sovereign Research Group (SSRG ) also claimed the SNP’s current approach for a second vote was getting nowhere. The Scottish First Minister said she wants a second independence referendum to take place before the end of 2023, subject to the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Prime Minister would still have to grant permission for a legal vote and has so far signalled a reluctance to grant a section 30 order required for a referendum.

In the letter, the think tank says it has “observed with increasing alarm” the stated strategy of the SNP-led Scottish Government, to hold a referendum within the current parliamentary term under a Section 30 order from the UK Government.

However, SNP ministers are also expected to bring forward a draft referendum bill which could also be passed through the Scottish Parliament without Westminster’s consent.

They stress the approach to achieving independence was “fraught with risk” and “could result in independence not being achieved in our lifetimes”.

It makes clear: “Therefore as a nation, we must pursue other peaceful and democratic means to rapidly achieve independence.”

The think tank, which consists of a group of non-partisan independent thinkers, argued Scotland could become independent if Scottish MPs withdraw from Westminster.

They argued there was nothing in the UK Constitution that prevents a majority of Scottish MPs, “representing the Scottish party to the 1707 Treaty of Union”, to hold a vote to withdraw from the UK.

The think tank added in the letter: “When the Treaty of Union was negotiated and ratified in 1707, it was to be a Union of equals between Scotland and England.

“It is the informed view of the SSRG that there is nothing in the UK unwritten constitution that prevents a majority of Scottish MP’s, representing the Scottish party to the Treaty of Union, to collectively vote to withdraw from it.

“This would mean that if 30 of the 59 Scottish MP’s voted to withdraw, the Treaty of Union would be annulled.”

The organisation also suggested the Scottish Parliament could pass a motion to declare that “Scotland is a sovereign nation” and is “withdrawing with immediate effect” from the Union.

They claimed Holyrood could make the move because the Parliament after the 2021 election comprises a majority of MSPs whose parties declared their support for independence.

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The letter explained: “It could be argued that the independence majority in the Scottish Parliament was not elected with a mandate to withdraw from the Treaty of Union, and therefore cannot pursue this route.

“However, elected governments are empowered, and indeed duty bound to take whatever actions they see fit to best serve the interests of their electorate and the nation they represent.”

The letter comes after Alba Party MP Kenny MacAskill lambasted the SNP’s record in Westminster since achieving a Scottish landslide in 2015 claiming they had achieved “diddly squat”.

He stressed little movement had been made with the Tories and repeated calls for the party to adopt a policy of semi-abstentionism.

When asked if he could see an event when SNP MPs could refuse to take their seats in protest at the UK Government’s stance on IndyRef2, he said: “That would have to be considered at some stage.

“In the same way if the UK Government refuses a referendum, we must consider alternatives to a referendum.

“It’s why the Yes movement is frustrated at the SNP’s lack of strategy, and why I think it will take steps to give us far greater control of our destiny, and not leaving it to the whims of Boris Johnson.”

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