BBC Breakfast row: Chris Mason brilliantly picks apart SNP’s independence hopes

IndyRef2: Chris Mason grills Neil Gray over ‘practicalities’

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Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to press ahead with plans for a second independence referendum in the wake of this week’s elections. However, BBC Breakfast host Chris Mason rebuked this plan on TV this morning during an interview with SNP MSP Neil Gray. He said that not only would Boris Johnson not grant a referendum but that the SNP will struggle to convince people that independence “is better than what they have right now”.

The BBC Breakfast host and political correspondent for BBC News said: “Let’s look at the specifics of the here and now.

“According to the tax authorities, a third of a million people in Scotland were on furlough at the end of January this year.

“That is a scheme run by the government in Westminster.

“In addition to that there are the jabs going into the thousands of people’s arms the whole time.

“Again, that is something coordinated around the UK.”

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He asked: “How do you persuade that person who is on furlough and has had a jab that independence is better than what they have right now?

Mr Gray hit back: “Just like any other nation we would have to borrow during a crisis such as this.

“And the idea that an independent Scotland could not run its own immunisation programme against Covid is for the birds.”

He said that the SNP’s referendum demands were “about respecting democracy,” but Mr Mason hit back that it simply “was not happening”.

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Ms Sturgeon has said Boris Johnson will have to challenge Scottish independence in the Supreme Court to stop the SNP’s independence efforts.

Boris Johnson has invited SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon for crisis talks on the Union after the First Minister warned he would be standing in the way of democracy if he denies Scotland a second independence referendum.

The SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority in the Scottish parliament elections, securing 64 seats.

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However, the final result still leaves Holyrood with a pro-independence majority.

Ahead of the results, Ms Sturgeon insisted the Prime Minister would have to challenge a second referendum in the Supreme Court.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick stressed that, despite the strong preference in Scotland for pro-independence parties, it would be a “grave error” to pursue another border poll.

On Friday the Prime Minister called a fresh referendum demand “irresponsible and reckless”.

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