Douglas Ross pinpoints 2014 moment as reason for IndyRef2 calls today ‘didn’t do enough’

IndyRef2: Douglas Ross discusses 2014 result

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Douglas Ross admitted there was complacency from pro-union groups in 2014 as many assumed it would be the last they heard on Scottish independence. He argued if more was done at the time to finally settle the independence question then the revival of the campaign today may have never materialised. He added the current vaccination programme was one of the best arguments to stay in the UK as he discussed Scotland’s future. 

Speaking during a Conservative Home event, he said: “I’m on record I think others from the pro-UK side of the argument that we didn’t do enough after 2014.

“You know there was a belief that both sides said would accept the outcome of a democratic referendum where people agreed to the franchise, the date, the question and both sides would agree to it.

“When the losing say didn’t respect that result and have campaigned ever since for another referendum, I think too many people who support Scotland place in the United Kingdom thought that was done and dusted, at least for a generation.

“And that’s clearly not been the actions of those who support Scottish independence.

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“But I do think more and more, particularly during this pandemic, has shown the benefits of the United Kingdom.

“The furlough scheme, self-employed income support and the vaccination scheme so I don’t think we have to be too overt in what we’re doing like stamping union jacks on everything.

“We can actually see right now that the way out of this pandemic is largely down to the success of the vaccination scheme.

“Which despite what Nicola sturgeon said to me at a hustings is clearly only been achievable because we are part of the United Kingdom.

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“Look at other countries across the EU who have not been able to do the same and people look at [our vaccination scheme] and see the jab in their arm that’s protected their mom and their dad – that is something we benefit from as being part of the United Kingdom.”

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was led by Alex Salmond and the SNP who were seeking a section 30 order from Westminster so they could leave the UK. 

The result of the referendum saw 55 percent reject independence calls. 

At the time, the referendum was touted as a “once in a lifetime referendum” which appeared to be accepted by those on both sides. 

But renewed calls for independence were ignited by Brexit after many who voted to remain in the EU in Scotland were taken out anyway. 

The issue of governance came to the forefront of Scottish politics once more with the SNP demanding another referendum to leave. 

In the run up to the Scottish parliament election in May this year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would push ahead with a referendum without the approval of Westminster. 

Since her victory, she has now stated she will focus on the pandemic and the fallout from it before ploughing on with independence campaigning. 

Ms Sturgeon is also reportedly in conversations with the pro-independence Green Party to open up ways the two sides could “cooperate”. 

The Greens saw a gain of two seats in the recent elections which means pro-independence parties are now the majority in Holyrood. 

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