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Dennis Canavan, chairman of the SNP Yes campaign in the 2014 independence referendum said the SNP should be “striking while the iron is hot”. He stressed the SNP should hold the IndyRef2 in the months following the Scottish Parliament election next spring after 14 polls revealed Scots were in favour of independence.
Mr Canavan said: “I am confident that the Scottish Parliamentary election in May will produce a majority of MSPs in favour of Scottish Independence and in favour of Indyref2.
“Anyone with any respect for democracy should recognise that such a Parliamentary majority constitutes a mandate for Indyref2.”
He added he had an “open mind” about the exact timing of IndyRef2.
The former SNP led campaign chief continued: “I recall the successful and decisive result of the referendum to set up the Scottish Parliament in September 1997, just a few months after the May 1997 General Election.
“Such a timescale would be my preferred target but it may depend on unforeseeable events such as the response of the UK Government and our rate of recovery from the pandemic.”
The Scottish devolution referendum was held in September 1997 by Tony Blair’s Government to shed light on the scale of support for creating a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers.
A total of 74.9 percent of Scots voted in favour of forming a Scottish Parliament, which was established in 1999.
Mr Canavan also referred to Boris Johnsons’s recent decision in January this year when he declined Nicola Sturgeon’s request for a second independence vote, which is granted by a Section 30 order.
He further warned Boris Johnson he runs the risk of a “constitutional crisis” if he continues on his current “No” position.
He continued to the Daily Record: “If Boris Johnson is stubborn enough and foolish enough to refuse a referendum under a Section 30 order, he runs the risk of provoking a constitutional crisis which will further increase support for the cause of Independence.
“In such circumstances, the Scottish Government should consider making a legal challenge to allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum.”
It comes after SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the party would hold a referendum “quickly” next year if they secured a “victory in Holyrood”.
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He added: “We need to demonstrably show that the people of Scotland are determined that they will have their say and in the first case, we have to win this election for the people of Scotland.
“To be able to be respectful to those who are not currently with us that we’re appealing to join us; about that denial of democracy that is currently taking place and to affirm that it is the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine their own future; and come what may, we will prevail.
“That referendum must take place in 2021.”
Mr Canavan was a former Labour politician before he left the party in 1999.
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