From SNP Media today:
Boris Johnson has today been warned against trying to block a democratic mandate for an independence referendum by a former senior civil servant who helped draft the Edinburgh Agreement that led to the 2014 referendum.
Professor Ciaran Martin said trying to prevent a referendum in the event of a pro-independence majority at Holyrood would mean the Union would change from one based on “consent” to one “based on force of law”.
Now a professor at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, Prof Martin made the comments in an academic paper in which he added that unionist arguments suggesting Scotland could not be a successful independent country were “plainly ludicrous” given the success of numerous smaller independent north European nations.
Commenting, SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said:
“This paper blows apart Boris Johnson’s strategy for trying to block a referendum and exposes it for the anti-democratic ploy it is.
“Professor Martin’s comments are a welcome acknowledgement – from someone at the heart of the UK Government in the negotiations leading to the 2014 referendum – that there is no democratic basis to block an independence referendum if the people of Scotland vote for one.
“The union must always be based on consent, and to try instead to base it, in Prof Martin’s words, on the ‘force of law’ would be doomed to failure.
“Scotland has a right to decide its own future, and if there is a mandate for a referendum at this election then Boris Johnson has no democratic or moral authority to try and block it.
“But the only decisive way to ensure there is a re-elected SNP Government, led by Nicola Sturgeon, which is in a position to deliver a referendum is to give both votes to the SNP.”