Scottish independence: SNP must focus on economy and public services, not Indyref2 – Scot commentary

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to take a break to consider a second Scottish independence referendum (Picture: Robert Perry/PA)

However, its leaders must pay attention to political reality and if there is not enough support to leave the UK, they would be mad to demand a referendum they were doomed to lose, despite all the clamor of their most passionate supporters.

So a new poll by Savanta ComRes for the Scotsman, which shows nearly six in ten people think Indyref2 talks should stop because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and some more half think this should happen because of the cost of living crisis, at least go give Nicola Sturgeon and co a break to think.

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How long this pause will be depends on the judgment of SNP leaders and events, but it should refocus their minds on the need for good government to accelerate our post-Covid economic recovery, best manage the cost of living crisis, and solve pressing problems in the NHS and in education in particular.

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The danger of repeatedly planning a referendum that does not take place is that basic public services will gradually deteriorate amid the inevitable sense of political drift. If you are constantly packing your bags for a trip to the Promised Land, the incentive to improve your existing conditions is reduced.

The SNP must recognize that Boris Johnson’s refusal to allow another referendum and dwindling support to hold one – at least, in the current circumstances – means that their dream of independence may have to be delayed and that more practical matters should take priority.

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