In Britain we all know what a legitimate election looks like. We also know what a legitimate referendum looks like. The problem with the SNP’s latest ruse to achieve independence is that it looks like neither.

The referendum in 2014 was agreed jointly by the UK Government and the Scottish Government and both sides promised to abide by the result. The campaign involved each putting forward their argument with official documents and debates. If the SNP had won everyone expected that Scotland would become independent and that the UK Government would cooperate and do all it could to help that happen. It was for this reason that so many turned out to vote.

But compare and contrast an unofficial referendum taking place next October. There would be no Edinburgh Agreement nor promise that both sides would abide by the result. There would be no official publications from the UK Government explaining its position on the various aspects of the debate. There might not even be an opponent for the SNP to debate.

It is unclear how Scottish Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives might respond to such a poll. Each would think about party interest and what independence would do to their own party fortunes. If they cannot even work together at elections to further the UK interest, then it may be that they would be unwilling to form a united boycott against the SNP’s poll.

The Pro UK boycott might be complete or only partial. There might be someone standing up against Sturgeon in debates. Pro UK opinion might be divided with some arguing that we should try to win the poll, while others like me arguing that we should ignore it.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

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