The Sunday Times said the plan being considered by ministers would mean that more than half of Scotland’s entire electorate, rather than a majority as is currently the case, would need to vote to leave the union before secession would be allowed.
The newspaper said the plan would require evidence for more than a year that at least 60% of voters want a new referendum on independence before the UK Government would even consider it.
🗳 Only those who fear losing feel the need to change the democratic goalposts. This desperate suggestion is proof positive that the independence arguments are winning. https://t.co/PKInEzleZs
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) September 3, 2022
And then if the referendum did take place, at least half of all of Scotland’s electorate would need to vote to leave the union – rather than a majority of more than 50% of those who voted, which was the case with the 2014 independence referendum and the 2016 Brexit vote.
Tweeting on Saturday night, Scottish First Minister Ms Sturgeon said: “Only those who fear losing feel the need to change the democratic goalposts.
“This desperate suggestion is proof positive that the independence arguments are winning.”
In 2014, 85% of the Scottish electorate voted – a record turnout for the UK – and when the ballots were counted it emerged that 55% backed remaining part of the union.
Ms Sturgeon has already made clear her determination hold a second vote on independence in October 2023, but to do so she needs the UK Supreme Court to rule such a vote can be held without the consent of Westminster.
If she cannot hold a referendum next year, the SNP leader has vowed to make the next Westminster election a “de facto referendum” on independence.