If the First Minister has said she does not want to hold an “unofficial referendum” as a winning vote for the independence side would not be recognised internationally and therefore not achieve independence then the only possible conclusion is that the First Minister has given up on what her predecessor referred to as “the beautiful dream”.
This is necessarily so as the First Minister has long insisted that a referendum can only be “official” if it is sanctioned by the British state. And we know that the British state will never sanction such a referendum so long as there is the possibility that their ‘precious’ Union might be put in jeopardy.
Of course, we can hardly expect that Nicola Sturgeon might come right out and admit that she has effectively abandoned hope of restoring Scotland’s independence. But neither can we anticipate that she might explain how, if she purports to still be seeking independence, she intends to resolve the contradiction inherent in making this dependent on something that can’t be had.
Alex Salmond famously said that the dream would never die. Maybe so. But the possibility of realising that dream seems to get more remote every time Nicola Sturgeon makes a statement on the matter.
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