We still don't have the exact date for #Referendum2023, but we're far closer to it thanks to an announcement from Angus Robertson, the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution and External Affairs, on today's Good Morning Scotland -
"The First Minister made clear yesterday that she intends to make an announcement to the Scottish Parliament in the forthcoming weeks about the route-map towards the referendum, which we intend to hold next October."
Assuming tradition is maintained by holding #Referendum2023 on a Thursday, we can now narrow the date down to four possible options:
5th October 2023
12th October 2023
19th October 2023
26th October 2023
Let's hope it's the 5th, because October is a transitional month and the weather is often a lot better at the start than it is at the end. (For that reason, September might have been preferable, although perhaps there's some other major event in the calendar that would have clashed.)
In all seriousness, I think we are making some progress now. This most certainly doesn't mean a referendum will actually be held next year, but the Scottish Government have now gone far enough that it's going to be very hard for them to quietly march their troops back down from the top of the hill in the way they've got away with in the past. There would be a tremendous sense of betrayal among many SNP members and supporters if that happened, and it wouldn't be hard to imagine a large number of defections to Alba or to other independence parties. So to avoid that danger, the Scottish Government will know they'll have to make a credible attempt to deliver an October 2023 referendum, and if the vote doesn't take place it'll have to be clearly seen that it was external forces that thwarted it. As a result, it would be established that the type of referendum the SNP and Greens want to hold simply isn't viable, and the onus would then be on them to explain how they're going to deliver independence without a referendum. The only remaining game in town would be a plebiscitary election, which is something that no UK government or court can thwart.
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SCOT GOES POP #Referendum2023 COUNTDOWN CLOCK
Thanks to the October announcement, the Countdown Clock will henceforth have considerably more precision - and note this means we are now less than 500 days away at most.
There are just 477 days until the earliest possible date for #Referendum2023 (5th October)
There are just 498 days until the last possible date for #Referendum2023 (26th October)
(Note: the Countdown Clock calculations assume that tradition will be maintained by holding #Referendum2023 on a Thursday.)