SNP Minister Mike Russell is still trying to ‘rig’ any future referendum on breaking up the UK.
Holyrood’s Finance and Constitution Committee has said it only supports the Referendums (Scotland) Bill on the provision that ministers ‘recognises the weight of evidence in favour of the Electoral Commission testing a previously used referendum question’.
But Mr Russell today said he will only seek to amend the Bill so that a previously tested question has a ‘shelf life’ of ‘two parliaments’.
He did, however, agree that he should discuss this with the Electoral Commission.
The Bill has already taken up hours of MSPs’ time – despite only 27 per cent of people in Scotland supporting a divisive second independence referendum on the SNP’s timetable, and despite a crisis in Scotland’s schools and hospitals.
The proposed legislation in theory relates to any type of referendum, but the political reality is that the SNP has only called for one referendum - on breaking up the UK.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“Mike Russell is still desperately trying to rig any future referendum on leaving the UK.
“He clearly cannot accept the fact that hundreds of thousands of former Yes voters have changed their minds and now want to remain in the UK to protect public services, save the pound, and avoid a hard border with England.
“But this Bill is a waste of parliamentary time and should never have been brought forward in the first place.
“Instead, MSPs should be focussing on the crisis in our education system and our hospitals which has been created by the SNP.
“Barely a quarter of people in Scotland support a second separation referendum on the SNP’s timeframe, and Nicola Sturgeon should stop trying to divide communities and concentrate on being First Minister for everyone in Scotland.”