Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Sturgeon warned little interest in independence ‘Just want to get on with our lives!’

Indyref2: Neil Oliver expresses doubts over 'appetite' for vote

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Author Ian Rankin shared the honest assessment that while the Scottish independence debate might be “interesting” for those in politics and the media, many Scots simply want to “get on with their lives” and focus instead on the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Rankin also admitted he has yet to make his mind up on the debate as he says he is still looking at all the pros and cons of leaving the UK. A Panelbase poll published in June found only 48 percent of those polled would support independence which means the desire for Indyref2 appears to be shrinking in Scotland. 

Speaking on Times Radio, Mr Rankin was asked for his opinion on Scottish independence. 

The Scottish crime writer replied: “It’s febrile it always is.

“If you if you’re a journalist or you’re part of that bubble I’m sure it’s very interesting, most of us just want to get on with our lives.

“And we just want the world to recover from Covid as quickly and efficiently as possible and for the economy to get back on its feet or even go on its knees from where it’s lying flat out at the moment with the life support on it.

“Before we start to really focus on other matters.

“And I think, I think the First Minister feels the same. I think she wants to get Covid done and dusted before she starts to focus her mind on any potential future independence bid.”

Upon her election victory in May, Nicola Sturgeon said she would first focus on tackling the pandemic before addressing the issue of independence. 

Scotland moved to Level 0 on July 19 which, despite the name, does not mean all restrictions are lifted. 

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Mandatory mask-wearing will still remain for enclosed spaces but social distancing and other restrictions are lifted. 

Mr Rankin was then asked how he would vote if a Scottish independence referendum went ahead.

He explained he was in two minds on the subject and said he wanted to see all the facts and figures before making a decision. 

He said: “I am a troubled and nuanced individual who hasn’t quite made up his mind.”

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Debates on Scottish independence have reared their head in recent months as Ms Sturgeon continues to campaign for a second independence referendum. 

In the leadup to the May 6 Scottish elections, some polls showed majority support for independence which spurred on the SNP’s campaign. 

However, polling expert Professor John Curtice says there has been “a cooling of the independence ardour” since the election. 

The SNP have also attacked the UK government following a report from The Herald which found emergency COVID-19 funds were used to poll opinions on the Union. 

The funds were initially earmarked to find out the public’s perception of the pandemic but some were used to ask questions on independence and the UK. 

SNP Leader in the House of Commons Ian Blackford has called for a public inquiry into the matter.

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