FORMER SNP MP Kenny MacAskill has suggested Home Rule for Scotland could create a ‘constitutional stalemate’ in a ‘divided’ country.
Alba’s representative said while he remained committed to Scottish sovereignty, “something must be done to break the impasse” of constitutional politics.
Writing in the Scotsman, the former SNP justice secretary acknowledged the concept is not without ‘challenges’, citing his desire for the country to have power over defense and foreign policy, the removal of nuclear weapons and membership of EFTA or the EU.
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However, he added: “Having said that, we are in a constitutional stalemate in Scotland where not only is the nation deeply divided, as the polls continually show, but Scottish politics is the result.
“Indyref2 remains the main debate but has been rejected by Westminster and postponed indefinitely by Holyrood.”
The SNP and Greens manifestos both pledged to hold a referendum in the next parliament, although some pro-independence campaigners want the vote to take priority.
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MacAskill’s party, Alba, had called for negotiations with Westminster to begin immediately after the May election in their manifesto.
“Something must be done to break the impasse and move the country forward because the weekly cycle of ‘we demand it’ and ‘you don’t get it’ does no one any good,” the MP wrote. . He called on people to ‘think outside the box’ in times of coronavirus.
“It is clear that there is dissatisfaction in Scotland with the status quo and disinterest in the UK with the issues facing Scotland,” added MacAskill. “Let Scotland tackle these social and economic issues, as Jimmy Maxton passionately demanded a century ago. This would show Westminster’s willingness to take notice of Scottish democracy.
The MP’s comments sparked a row on social media, with some independence supporters criticizing the position. MacAskill has long suggested that his former party was not pushing self-determination hard enough.
“People who left the SNP for a party that *supposedly* would offer a bigger push for independence are now turning away from independence themselves,” WG Saraband wrote. “You just can’t make this stuff up.”
“So much for the #Alba party which supports independence. Gordon Brown would even be proud of this position,” wrote SNP MP Chris Law.
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Others felt that it was reasonable to discuss this possibility. “He makes a good point though, and Home Rule is probably more realistic in the medium term,” one supporter wrote.
“Read the article please, this is a guy who gives an opinion on what happens when, we ask that they refuse,” added another. “No ‘We’ve got high morals’ against a government that couldn’t spell Moral or High Ground. Just a compromise suggestion, of how it should have been two equals.