IndyRef2 delayed due to coronavirus

Published by Alice Jaspars on March 19th 2020, 10:10am

Preparations for a second Scottish independence referendum have been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mike Russell, the constitution secretary, has said that current plans have been “paused” for at least a year.

Russell said that the decision will allow the Scottish government to put all its energy into the current health crisis.

A letter sent to Michael Gove, the UK cabinet minister, read: "Because of the crisis, the Scottish government has paused work on preparing for an independence referendum this year.

"We have also written to the Electoral Commission to make clear we do not expect it to undertake testing of a referendum question until public health circumstances permit such activity.

"That will allow us to focus all available resource on current and future demands in what is an unprecedented set of circumstances.

"It follows from this that a referendum will not be held this year."

Russell asked the British government to delay Brexit negotiations at this time for the very same reasons.

He said: "It would seem impossible for business and others to cope with the enormous challenge of coronavirus while at the same time preparing for a completely new relationship with the EU in nine months' time."

Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Conservative constitution secretary, welcomed the news, and said it came “as a relief to workers and businesses alike".

Nicola Strugeon, first minister for Scotland, said that activists ought to stop and campaigning, and instead "focus on looking out for your family, friends and neighbours".

Share this article

The Leaders Council

About The Leaders Council

The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a network of the most influential figures from across the country. Through detailed case studies, news coverage, podcasts and leadership events, we strive to unearth the authentic voice of British industry. Find out more about our Membership Benefits.

Related News Stories

Authored By

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
March 19th 2020, 10:10am

Follow Us

Follow @LeadersGBNI on Twitter for more live updates

Share this article

Special Reports

SPECIAL REPORT | Published March 4th 2022, 8:31 am

The Impact of the Health and Care Bill

Popular Stories

NEWS | Published June 28th 2022, 3:03 pm

Indyref2: Sturgeon wants October 2023 referendum

© Copyright 2022, Leaders Council.