PRO-INDEPENDENCE campaigners cannot risk losing a second referendum, one of the SNP’s most senior MPs has warned.

Writing in The National, following a visit to the Quebec with Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee, Pete Wishart says defeat in indyref2 for the Yes movement will not be “consequence free.”

His comments come a week after Nicola Sturgeon called for a new Scottish independence referendum in the second half of 2020.

Wishart writes: “In order to secure the relative peace between Quebec and federal Canada, two independence referendums were required with the last settled by a few thousand votes and less than 1% of the huge 93.5 % turnout.

“That was in 1995, and almost 25 years later the independence movement remains diminished.”

He adds: “Young Quebecers now increasingly identify themselves as pan-Canadian and PQ’s support seems to be dependent on the 1990s sovereignist generation.

“The spectacular fall of the Party Quebecios, and its federal equivalent the Bloc Quebecois, is a salutary lesson to those who believe that a second referendum defeat would be consequence free here.”

READ MORE: Pete Wishart: I went to Quebec – this is why we CANNOT lose indyref2

Wishart says there are crucial differences between the two independence movements and says the federalism enjoyed by Quebec and its relationship with the Canadian government is far, far removed from the relations between the governments in Edinburgh and London.

“They now have powers over immigration, bringing in the people and skills required to support a booming economy and address demographic issues on a par with the perilous situation we face in Scotland,” he writes.

The veteran SNP MP says the debate about federalism in the UK fails to suggest a way in which “it could be applied across a United Kingdom of four nations where England provides about 90% of the population”.

“Scotland has only one more chance of becoming anything like Quebec,” he adds, “and that is to end its current constitutional arrangements with the UK by becoming a self-governing independent nation.”

Labour MP Ged Killen, who was also part of the Scottish Affairs Committee’s visit to Quebec disagreed with Wishart’s conclusions.

“Surprisingly, much of the engagement between provinces and the federal government is done on a relatively informal basis, similar to what we have in the UK,” he said.

“There is no formal dispute mechanism and few set rules about how and when first ministers meetings take place, the key difference seems to be that there

is more political buy-in and respect on all sides as well as a genuine desire to work together on common interests.

“Something which appears lacking between the current UK and Scottish governments”.