United Kingdom

Boris Johnson could tell Unionists to BOYCOTT unofficial IndyRef2

Boris Johnson could order Unionists to boycott an unofficial second Scottish independence referendum in order to sink Nicola Sturgeon's hopes of splitting from the UK, it was claimed today. 

Senior Tories are said to be urging the Prime Minster to tell supporters of the Union to stay at home should Ms Sturgeon elect to hold a 'wildcat' border poll. 

A formal referendum on independence can only take place if it is rubber-stamped by the UK government. 

Senior Tories are urging Boris Johnson to tell Unionist voters to boycott any unofficial second Scottish independence referendum

A formal independence referendum can only take place if the UK government agrees but Nicola Sturgeon has previously suggested she could try to bypass Westminster if it tries to block her plans

But Mr Johnson has repeatedly said he will not agree to another poll on the grounds that the 2014 edition was supposed to settle the issue for a generation. 

However, Ms Sturgeon has previously suggested she could seek to bypass Westminster if Mr Johnson tries to stand in her way. 

As a result senior Tories are now turning their attention to what to do if an unofficial vote is held. 

The strategy of boycotting the poll is said to be backed by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross. 

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Mr Ross is leading calls for Mr Johnson to tell Unionist voters not to engage with a second referendum in order to paint it as an SNP 'vanity exercise'. 

One Cabinet minister told the newspaper: 'If they [the SNP] held one of their own, we just would not engage. 

'There is no way they would get to 50 per cent of the electorate.' 

Speaking in November last year, Ms Sturgeon hinted she would try to bypass Mr Johnson if he continues to block a second referendum. 

An Ipsos MORI poll published last week showed the Scottish independence battle had narrowed

The First Minister said she would seek the 'authority' of voters at the Holyrood elections in May for a re-run of the 2014 border poll and claimed she needed 'no one else's' permission to hold a 'legal independence referendum'. 

She argued that if a majority of Scots want to split from the UK then 'we have a right' to do so and that 'right of self determination cannot, and will not, be subject to a Westminster veto'.

An Ipsos MORI poll released last week showed the independence battle had narrowed, with 52 per cent saying they would vote 'Yes', down from 56 per cent in November, while 48 per cent said they would vote 'No'. 

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