Rennie In SNP 'Neverendums' Warning

12 April 2015, 06:00 | Updated: 12 April 2015, 06:19

Nicola Sturgeon is preparing an "accelerated pathway'' to another independence referendum, according to Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie.

The First Minister's latest pledge to propose another referendum if there is a "material change'' in circumstances, such as a UK vote to leave the European Union (EU) against Scotland's wishes, or a change in public opinion, contrasts with her predecessor's pronouncement that last year's vote could be a ``once-in-a-lifetime opportunity'', Mr Rennie said.

He added: "We're heading towards neverendums until the SNP get the answer they want from the voters. Not even a year has passed since the referendum and the SNP have gone back on their word.

"The once-in-a-lifetime promise has been dispensed in favour of an accelerated pathway to another referendum.

"Their policy means that they will be able to drag the country to yet another referendum whenever they fancy. They just have to think up a reason and then order their MSPs to vote it through.

"Those MSPs were elected on a minority of votes across Scotland but will be given total power.

"Public services such as Scotland's NHS would be neglected as they sought to find a reason to meet Nicola Sturgeon's accelerated pathway.

"Nicola Sturgeon must scrap her plan for an accelerated pathway to another referendum. This new promise is for never-ending uncertainty and a neverendum.

"We have seen from Canada the economic impact of an uncertain constitutional environment. Quebec lost jobs and wealth. That damaged the province in the long term. The uncertainty alone could threaten the recovery.''

Angus Robertson, the SNP's general election campaign director, said: "Willie Rennie is talking nonsense - no wonder they are trailing at just 4% in the polls.

"Nicola Sturgeon said no such thing - what she said is that the people of Scotland, not David Cameron or any other politician, who will decide when any future referendum on independence might be.

"The General Election is not about independence - it is about electing a strong team of SNP MPs to stand up for Scotland's interests at Westminster.''