Due to the “dangerous situation” triggered by the coronavirus wave, NICOLA Sturgeon has been advised to suspend government work and the political movement for freedom.
Opposition parties said a new referendum bill and the timeline promised before the May election should be postponed by the First Minister.
Instead of the “absurd” decision to draft a bill for Indyref2, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Tories said Ms. Sturgeon should concentrate on the imminent health and economic problems triggered by the restoration of the full lockdown.
Ms. Sturgeon admitted today that this spring’s Holyrood election campaign could be influenced by the lockout and mass vaccination program.
She said, however, that she did not think that “at the moment,” there were reasons to delay the election, although she noted that this would eventually be a decision for Parliament itself.
She also revealed that about half of the current covid cases in Scotland are from the new British strain, which is highly contagious.
It also indicated that the number of people in Scottish hospitals with covid had increased in the past week by 255 to 1347, a 23 percent rise, while the number of patients in intensive care had increased in one week by 28 to 93, a 43 percent increase.
In last September’s government program, Ms. Sturgeon said freedom was vital to reversing Brexit and enabling Scotland to rejoin its European allies.
“She told MPs, “That’s why before the end of this parliament, we’re going to publish a bill setting out the proposed terms and timing of an independence referendum, and the proposed topic that will be put to citizens in that referendum.
“And then we will make the case for Scotland becoming an independent country in next year’s election, and seek clear support for Scotland’s right to choose our own future.”
Leader Willie Rennie of the Scottish LibDem said fighting the deadly third wave of the virus should take precedence over the constitutional aspirations of the SNP.
He pointed out that during the 2020 lockdown, including the Indyref2 plans, the SNP had halted its independence work, but had not done so for the 2021 lockdown.
He said, “As we face this colossal new wave of viruses, we need to put recovery first.” If the nation is to be shut down, so should the fight for freedom.
“The last time people were asked to stay at home, the First Minister suspended her constitutional campaign and stopped all work in government on the issue,” he said.
Now the nation and the NHS are in a much more precarious situation, so she’s got to do it again.
Right now, civil servants are being kept busy working on the next SNP independence bill. For the government, that is the wrong priority.
“This work and any other work on independence should stop immediately.”
“He continued, “The First Minister criticized Boris Johnson for seeking Brexit in the midst of a pandemic just before Christmas. She declined when I urged her to postpone the independence movement for the same cause.
Then she was wrong, and now she’s going to be even more wrong if she’s not acting,”She was wrong then and she will be even more wrong now if she doesn’t act,”
Just because he didn’t listen to Boris Johnson doesn’t mean she has to imitate him. In the midst of a global pandemic, there is no reason for seeking such a major constitutional reform.
“We face crises on all fronts – education, mental health and the economy. It needs to be all hands on deck. The First Minister must put independence aside and focus on this deadly third wave of the pandemic. Recovery must come first.”
“Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, said, “The decision of the SNP to prioritize their Indyref Bill is more ridiculous than ever when the nation is at an impasse and this pandemic is being fought by all people across Scotland.
In this parliamentary term, there is too little time left and the substantial work of the parliament is obviously being curtailed by the effect of the restrictions of Covid 19.
In the extreme, it would be unethical to try to take scarce time and the energy of elected leaders away from the most relevant concerns – such as vaccine levy, education and job security – and instead concentrate on another divisive referendum.
We should not waste time with the same constitutional and constitutional structure.