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Kenny MacAskill has criticised Scotland’s First Minister’s anti-Brexit stance, claiming it fails to see the problems with becoming a member of the EU again. Writing for the Scotsman, Mr MacAskill pointed out how returning to the bloc would entail forming a hard border with the rest of the UK.
He wrote: “Re-joining the EU would necessitate a hard border with the rest of the UK, which is an anathema to many and undermines the case for independence.
“In any event the political union’s more controversial now, as the EU faces challenges with the departure of Merkel, Le Pen’s threat to Macron and the continued rightward drift of the likes of Hungary and Poland.”
Mr MacAskill also scrutinised the SNP outlook on re-joining the EU, which he suggested stops them from “preparing to go forward”.
He opined: “SNP positioning though seems to be EU membership, irrespective of whatever happens or whatever the cost. That’s probably driven by many who joined the party post-Brexit or fired by the SNP’s pro-EU position.
“To avoid alienating them, the SNP concentrates on looking back, not preparing to go forward, as for some of them EU membership’s more important than independence and they were cultivated by Nicola Sturgeon.”
Ms Sturgeon came under fire as one critic alleged her “independence unit” in Scotland suggests she is “not serious” about enabling Indyref2.
In June, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Delighted that @theSNP National Executive Committee has approved my nomination of Mike Russell @Ferolean as political director of the HQ independence unit.
“He will oversee the development of the party’s independence campaign, as we look ahead to #indyref2 later in this Parliament.”
But writer John Ferry blasted the First Minister’s announcement, saying it “reeked of desperation”.
He said: “The appointment of Russell is not so much a sign of progress for the Nationalists as confirmation that their project to break up the UK has stalled.”
Mr Russell is also the President of the SNP and once served under Ms Sturgeon as the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External affairs.
Mr Ferry added: “His appointment shows how Sturgeon relies on a small inner circle of loyal colleagues to hold the party and the independence movement together.
“It also signals her strategy for the next few years: placate impatient supporters with the appearance of action but kick the independence can down the road for as long as possible.”
SNP has been approached for comment.
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