Nationalists call to ban British soldiers in Scotland from referendum | UK | News

Their desperate demands include forcing media outlets to provide “impartial coverage”, banning any newspapers with a perceived anti-independence bias and launching a publicly-funded TV channel that supports separation.

The nationalists have also urged SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to bar military personnel, second-home owners and foreign students based in Scotland from voting in a second independence referendum.

The crackpot conditions feature in a Scottish Government based on public responses to the SNP leader’s draft Referendum Bill which was sneaked out before MSP’s knocked off for their two-month summer break.

The public consultation seems to have been hijacked by bitter nationalists convinced that bias and corruption cost them the first referendum.

It highlights fears that people who had been “resident for a temporary or short period of time” – such as “students from England or other countries”, members of the British armed forces based north of the Border and those “who own holiday homes in Scotland” – would be allowed to vote in a second poll.

The report follows Ms Sturgeon’s decision to temporarily put her referendum demands on ice after the SNP took a savaging at the General Election.

Highlighting the timing of the report’s publication, James Kelly, a Labour MSP, said: “The Nationalists may claim they have hit reset on the referendum but as a government it is the same old story of cover ups and dodging scrutiny.”

The Scottish Government said the consultation would be “vitally important in ensuring the technical procedures around any future referendum are robust, fair and transparent.”

A spokesman said: “While the First Minister has made clear that the Scottish Government will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum at this stage, it is crucial that all options should be available to the Scottish Parliament at the conclusion of the Brexit negotiation period.”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told Commons magazine The House he had “no doubt” another referendum will happen and the only question is the timing.

He said: “I’m still the same person I was when I joined the SNP as a teenager. 

“The burning desire I had to see Scottish independence and the desire I have to see a country that looks after the most vulnerable is something that’s always been with me.”

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