The Scottish Government is ploughing ahead with preparation to hold a fresh vote on the country’s future despite not having received consent from Westminster. Ms Sturgeon wants to hold a referendum by the end of next year on breaking up the United Kingdom.
Work has even been carried out in recent days despite the West grappling with how to tackle Russian aggression in Ukraine.
The SNP-Green coalition is being urged to ditch all planning on a future vote, with Tory members of the Scottish Parliament warning now is not the time for distraction.
Scottish Conservative shadow secretary for the constitution Donald Cameron told Express.co.uk: “The last thing Scotland needs right now is another deeply divisive independence referendum.
“We have seen only this week senior SNP figures crassly try to link their nationalist cause with the appalling situation in Ukraine.
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“Right now all our efforts must be focused on supporting the people of Ukraine and domestically accelerating our recovery from Covid, instead of the SNP pressing ahead with their constitutional obsession.”
His comments referring to SNP attempts to link Scotland and Ukraine refer to remarks made by the SNP president, Mike Russell.
He used a blog post on the party’s website earlier this week to draw parallels between Scotland’s place in the UK and Putin’s war in Ukraine.
“The right of people to choose how they are governed and by whom is an absolute and must be universally applied, respecting each and every democratic mandate,” he wrote.
“Nor can that right be circumscribed by history – just because something was, doesn’t mean it will always continue to be so, whether that be rule from Moscow or the result of an eight-year-old referendum.”
SNP MSP Michelle Thomson has also sought to link the two countries, apologising after saying Ukraine’s emergency application for EU membership for help in the face of Russian aggression “just goes to show what political will can achieve”.
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In a follow up post, she said: “I noted and then tweeted something earlier that was insensitive regarding Ukraine.
“Like everyone, my first thoughts are sympathy for the people there. Apologies if I offended anyone.”
The Scottish government left supporters of the UK dumbstruck earlier this week when a document was published that appeared to suggest preparations for a new independence referendum were still taking place.
In a foreword to a document outlining Scotland’s 10 year plan for the economy, finance secretary Kate Forbes said she wanted tp deliver “the best economic performance possible for Scotland within the current constitutional constraints”.
However, it went on: “With the full powers of an independent country we can, of course, deliver more.
“At present, macro-economic, fiscal, migration and other levers lie with the UK Government.
“We cannot ignore that fact when pursuing economic prosperity.”
She added: “The economic prospectus for an independent Scotland is being prepared ahead of an independence referendum and will set out how those additional powers can be deployed to build greater prosperity over the long term.”