A multi-option referendum on Scottish independence, further devolution or the status quo would have “fatal defects”, a committee of MPs has found. The Commons Scottish Affairs Committee has accused the SNP of “political opportunism” by refusing to rule out a question on “devo max”. The committee is composed entirely of unionist MPs following the withdrawal of SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford over a dispute with its convenor, Labour MP Ian Davidson. The fourth report from its inquiry into “the referendum on separation for Scotland” is published today and focuses on the proposals for a multi-option referendum.
The report states: “Widening the number of options to be put in front of the voters in a referendum may at first sight be an attractive proposition: but it suffers from a number of fatal defects. Leaving aside the charges of political opportunism which can quite fairly be laid against the Scottish Government in pursuing this option, the evidence we heard shows very clearly the challenges and defects of the notion. The Scottish Government does not have a mandate to hold a referendum on greater devolution. What it promised was a referendum on separation.”