SNP getting on with the day job, but indyref2 still an option
Today the SNP published their programme of government for the next year.
The document is very ambitious and it shows that the SNP have listened to those within the independence movement who have long urged them to be more radical.
The plan includes:
- Creating a Scottish National Investment Bank.
- Confirmation of a public sector rail bid.
- Ending the public sector pay cap.
- Free sanitary products in schools.
- Expansion of free personal care to under 65s.
- Big investment in electric cars and new charging points.
- Big investments in manufacturing and R&D.
- A South of Scotland Enterprise board.
- Money for research into Universal Basic Income.
- Confirmation that the Land Reform Commission will consider a Land Value Tax.
- Investment in carbon capture technology.
- The presumption against jail sentences of under 12 months (community services/fines to be preferred).
- More money for action on homelessness.
- A Local Democracy Bill.
- A pardon for all people convicted of being gay, when it was a crime.
You can check out the whole document here and there is a short summary in the following video.
The document also confirmed the current SNP position on Brexit and indyref2.
Prior to the snap General Election, the SNP had intended to hold indyref2 between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019. According to the document today, the SNP intend to make a decision on the timing of another referendum in Autumn 2018. This is in line with the speech Sturgeon gave after the General Election.
The document states that they can’t consent to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in its current form. They want to amend it so that Scotland gets some of the powers mentioned in their paper, Scotland’s Place in Europe. They will work with the UK government and the devolved administrations to try to get a better deal for Scotland. If, after the Brexit talks have concluded, Scotland looks to be losing out, they will decide if and when to hold the second independence referendum.
This approach, combined with their more radical plan for government, may be the most sensible option for securing the best deal for Scotland. There are a lot of variables in UK politics at the moment so only time will tell how this will turn out.