Boris Johnson has told the SNP to stop demanding a second referendum and instead outline what independence would mean for Scotland.
In a terse Commons exchange with an SNP MP, the prime minister asked “what is the prospectus for the destruction of the United Kingdom?”
Mr Johnson then speculated whether a yes vote would result in moves to “scrap the army, scrap the pound, scrap the Queen and scrap the bomb”.
His comments came at a liaison committee hearing, in which the SNP’s Pete Wishart pressed time and time again for Mr Johnson to accede to a second poll on independence.
Mr Wishart said: “If a majority of the Scottish people want their country to be an independent nation, how do they democratically achieve that objective?”
“I think they should hold a referendum, such as the one that was held in 2014,” Mr Johnson said.
“And, when they say it’s a once-in-a-generation event, they should, in a democratic spirit, honour that pledge.”
He added: “People in this country want for us to focus on their needs, and from where I sit I see the Scottish National Party is failing on crime, failing on education, failing on tax and with nothing to say, except that you want to break up the United Kingdom.
“What you won’t say is what the purpose of the referendum is, you won’t say whether you want to keep the pound, what will happen to pensions, what will happen to the diplomatic service, the military, the monarchy, all you will say is that you want a referendum and you had one in 2014, and the result was decisive.
“You can’t say what the prospectus is for the destruction of the United Kingdom.”
Johnson says the 'last thing this country needs is to wrap itself in years of constitutional wrangling'
— Dan O'Donoghue (@MrDanDonoghue) January 13, 2021
‘Let the people decide’
Mr Wishart described the prime minister’s response as an “utter load of rubbish”, adding: “Let the people decide, that’s what the Scottish people want.
“There are 17 opinion polls now showing a majority in Scotland want an independence referendum; you know prime minister, I know, everybody watching this knows that a referendum is coming, just get on with it.
“If your global Brexit Britain is so wonderful they’ll vote for that.
“Continuing to say no to Scotland is unsustainable.”