The SNP politician has long maintained his party would seek to have Scotland re-join the European Union should voters back plans to break away from the UK in a second independence referendum. But BBC Breakfast host Roger Johnson challenged Ian Blackford as he pointed out quitting the United Kingdom to become an EU member state would leave Scotland in a “detrimental” position. Mr Johnson said: “Let’s extrapolate the kind of ideology behind this, that you now want an independence vote, another referendum.
“There was one six years ago, once in a generation, but you want another one because you’ve been taken out against your will, you say.
“But if you go back into the European Union, if that was your objective, you’d have less control of your fishing waters because the European Union would have greater control of them.
“And then you would have to do a deal with your biggest trading partner – the rest of the United Kingdom – which might be far more detrimental to Scotland.”
The BBC Breakfast presenter added: “Wouldn’t it be better to wait and see how the next couple of years pan out because, you never know, it could be good for Scotland?”
Mr Blackford said Scotland had already lost many “opportunities” because of the Brexit vote, claiming the SNP had never suggested the referendum on independence would be a “once in a generation” vote.
He said: “I think the harsh reality is we already know because we’ve already had the impact and lost opportunities over the last few years. It’s only going to get worse.
“Let me deal with this issue that you’ve raised about once in a generation.
“When the Edinburgh Agreement was signed that led to the referendum, and the Smith Commission met after the referendum to look at new powers for Scotland…in both of these documents there was never any mention about this being once in a generation.”
Indeed some concerned rumblings have begun to emerge in the unionist midst after successive voting intention polls showed support for independence ahead of backing for the union.
Fourteen surveys conducted between August and December 2020 put the Yes campaign over 45 percent, with No struggling to breach the 40 percent threshold.
Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross has repeatedly warned Boris Johnson to consider the party’s strategy for Scotland because of growing support for independence, warning of the risks the union is facing.
Speaking at the party conference in November, Mr Ross said: “Many, including some who govern our country, want to see a UK government focused on England.
“We pretend these are the views of only a small minority, but I hear them far too often.
“If you think Scotland’s place in the UK isn’t worth the fight, then you’re in the wrong party.”