This article was an April Fools Day post.
A response obtained under Freedom of Information rules shows that the SNP-controlled Scottish Government is using September 2028 as the planning assumption for a new referendum on whether Scotland should remain part of the UK, and seems to suggest that there are no firm plans or budgets yet.
The information was provided in response to a FOI request by Scotland in Union Director Alastair Cameron, which included a heavily-redacted extract from an internal document as confirmation.
When asked for details of the plan and budget for a future referendum, the Scottish Government responded that the information is not held, which implies strongly that no plans exist.
The redacted page which is included with the response appears to contain a summary of a committee meeting which confirmed the date, but few details can be ascertained. SIU has submitted an appeal to attempt to obtain the unredacted document, as we believe that the public interest in having this information available outweighs the need for full and frank advice in policy formulation. We expect to receive the result of this appeal by the end of April.
Scotland in Union Director, Alastair Cameron, said: “I am delighted that Nicola Sturgeon and her administration appear to have recognised that the majority of Scots never wanted another divisive referendum within her original timescale, but I am disappointed that it took a Freedom of Information request for the Scottish Government to provide this information. We deserve greater clarity from the Scottish Government on this matter.
We should all be concerned that as long as the SNP remain in power we will have to live with the threat of another campaign, which would divide families and threaten the economy. Scotland in Union calls on the First Minister to shelve plans for another divisive poll on leaving the UK indefinitely, and at least until a proper generation has passed since the 2014 referendum. The kind of posturing we have seen recently from Nicola Sturgeon over the date of a referendum feels as though she is trying to play us all for Fools, and has to stop.”
Notes to editors: Freedom of Information request was submitted by Alastair Cameron on 10th March 2022, and response reference 2022030156743 received on 1st April 2022.
Copies of response and enclosed document are provided below. For further information on this story, please contact pressofficer@siu-aprilF.co.uk