Conservative election strategist Lynton Crosby pushed for Scottish independence vote before Brexit
The Tory campaign consultant recommended “harnessing the uncertainty” of Brexit for a No vote
Lynton Crosby - Image credit: PA Images
Conservative election strategist Lynton Crosby urged Theresa May to hold a second vote on independence ahead of Brexit, it has been revealed.
Crosby headed up the Conservative campaign that lost the Prime Minister her majority at the recent general election.
The campaign adviser told May she should “harness the uncertainty” of Britain’s EU withdrawal for an easy win in Scotland, according to a memo leaked to The Times.
When Nicola Sturgeon first announced in March that she wanted a new referendum before Brexit is complete, Crosby sent a memo to figures in CCHQ arguing the uncertainty would keep Scotland in the union.
“While it may seem sensible to delay a referendum until after Brexit negotiations are complete this is not necessarily the best strategic position to adopt,” he wrote.
“Holding a referendum on independence before Brexit is complete will mean that voters have to grapple with the uncertainty of the outcome of Brexit in addition to the uncertainty of their choice in the referendum.
“Delaying the referendum until after Brexit is complete removes one of these unknowns.”
He said a Brexit outcome that dissatisfied Scots could “easily result in Scotland voting for independence”.
But Theresa May clearly rejected the advice, announcing two days later that Sturgeon’s two-year referendum timetable would be rejected.
Just yesterday a report surfaced that Nicola Sturgeon would scrap the SNP plan to hold a second poll on independence within the next two years – after demanding one just three months ago.
In a statement to MSPs this week the First Minister is expected to row back on her demand but keep open the prospect of a new poll after two years.
Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman say nothing has changed and Scots should still be given a vote on the Brexit deal
Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft summarises the responses he received in focus groups in Edinburgh South West and Aberdeen South
Unlike her brother, journalist Rachel Johnson was a strong Remain supporter in the EU referendum
Nicola Sturgeon says her argument with Theresa May over a second referendum "should be settled politically" as the Scottish independence debate goes global.