BBC QT: Boris urged to call IndyRef2 to see off independence – 'Call Sturgeon's bluff!'

BBC Question Time returned yesterday as Fiona Bruce made the trip to Inverness, Scotland. The debate quickly turned to the issue of Scottish independence.

Ms Bruce was joined in Inverness by the SNP’s ex-Westminster leader Angus Robertson, Scottish Tory Party chairman Craig Hoy, Labour’s Shadow Social Security Secretary Pam Duncan-Glancy, Spectator editor Fraser Nelson and award-winning stand-up comedian Susie McCabe.

Mr Nelson, who also pens a column in the Telegraph, suggested Boris Johnson could accept Nicola Sturgeon’s demand to hold an independence referendum in October 2023.

The Brexit-backing journalist said: “Really, I think Boris Johnson might be tempted to call their bluff because if there was one and they fight it, the current opinion polls suggest it would be a real struggle.

“Especially, when you start to ask who pays the pensions, in what currency, how would you cope with a hard border with England which there would have to be after Brexit.

“Difficult questions and I don’t think the SNP in its heart of hearts really wants to answer them.”

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He added: “The biggest reason why I think there won’t be one [an independence referendum] is because Scots don’t want one.

“We’ve had another two [polls] this morning showing a majority of people don’t want there to be a referendum in the timetable that Nicola Sturgeon is talking about.

“Partly because you’ve got the SNP voters who aren’t sure it’s a good idea but also you’ve got a country that is exhausted.”

Speaking about public mood, Mr Fraser claimed the Prime Minister could call the First Minister’s bluff.

He said: “It hasn’t really changed very much since 2014.

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The Prime Minister added: “I think the important point to make is that we think the number one priority for the country is the economic pressures, the spikes in the cost of energy.”

A Government spokesperson also told “We are clear that now is not the time to be talking about another independence referendum.

“People across Scotland want to see both of their governments working together on the issues that matter to them.

“That includes tackling the cost of living, ensuring energy security, leading the international response against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing our economy.

“That remains our priority.”

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