Just over 1 year ago, March 28th 2017 to be exact The Scottish Parliament voted for a second referendum on independence by 69 to 59 in favour of seeking permission for a referendum before the UK leaves the EU. About 1 week earlier in advance of this Theresa May first uttered her ‘Now is not the time’ mantra for the first time.
From that vote, Nicola Sturgeon won approval for the Scottish Government to negotiate with the UK Government for a Section 30 order enabling a second independence referendum as happened in 2014. The request in the First Ministers own words was for this to happen between “…Autumn next year  and the Spring of 2019” in her letter duly sent on behalf of the Scottish Government to Theresa May and the UK government.
For over 1 year now the UK government response to that formal request has been to shamefully give no formal response. Instead the MayBot has continued to publicly repeat her mantra with no reason moral, legal or democratic given. This is how we are treated in the ‘union of equals’. It’s how we always have been and its how we always will be.
The time is now and urgently so. It’s time for the Scottish Government to urgently force the answer one way or the other. It’s time for the Scottish Government to use the mandate we gave them in May 2016 when 69 of 129 MSPs were voted in on an independence referendum card. It’s time for Scotland to set out our own plan and path.
Increasingly there’s concern among independence supporters that the current inaction from the Scottish Government and mixed messages from SNP Parliamentarians will result in being Brexited against our will followed by an expired mandate in 2021 both things resulting in a situation where gaining independence will be infinitely more difficult. Various pro-independence commentators have had their say. Peter A. Bell has led the charge for a referendum at the earliest end of the window in September 2018 although as time drags on this is now highly unlikely. Peter has asked a series of pertinent questions around the consequence of delay and encouraging debate around UK Gov plans to strip the Scottish Parliament of power.
Peter is right: The Tories plan to legally challenge the Scottish Parliaments Continuity Bill in the Supreme Court. They plan to grab our devolved power residing in Brussels and create UK wide common frameworks and this is most likely a precursor to an overarching plan to turn the Scottish Parliament into a passive and powerless empty shell of unionist overlordship. The formidable Brit bullying, conning and spin machine is already working to stop us and Pete encourages urgency to avoid“the corrosive regret at having missed our opportunity. The shame of having consigned Scotland to its fate from fearful inertia”.
Stu Campbell is right: The inimitable thorn in the side of the mass media over at Wings Towers says the Scottish Government have little to lose by legislating for a referendum and poses the question ‘What if the UK government just says “Now is not the time” forever?’. Indeed, if there’s inevitability about a referendum attempt finding itself in court then let’s get the ball rolling without setting an actual referendum date.
James Kelly is right: The ScotGoesPop psephologist adds that before legislating for a referendum the Scottish Parliament should place a clear Yes/No deadline on the unanswered section 30 request. This is indeed important to be seen to have chosen the collaborative process before heading down the unilateral pathway.
Our adversories are taking us for mugs and playing us for time. They are acutely aware their own hand strengthens with each day of our inaction. We all may not agree on the exact timing of the referendum but we can unite towards the next series of required steps involving a section 30 response deadline, legislating for a second independence referendum and getting a supreme court decision following the inevitable challenge. That should leave enough time to use that precious mandate, just. It feels like we’re in the 90th minute of a football match with only injury time remaining, the opposition are time wasting and we’re giving them the ball back every time we have possession. The final whistle will indicate our defeat. Tic Toc.
Oh and Theresa, now is not the time for another immoral war based on false flags.