IAN Blackford has made an “absolute commitment” to National’s readers that there will be a referendum.

Speaking to us as he campaigned on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street with members of Young Scots for Independence, the SNP’s Westminster leader said he was in no doubt that the vote was coming soon and that Scots would choose to “complete the journey”.

The party chief said the next General Election campaign would be a “springboard” for the next independence referendum.

Support for independence was, he said, continuing to build.

“I’m looking forward to the election campaign that will come over the course of the next few months.

“That will be the springboard to us having an independence referendum.

“Once that campaign has formally launched, support for independence will continue to build. Of that I have no doubt.”

Asked if he was worried that whoever the prime minister is after that next election might refuse to grant a Section 30 order, Blackford said he expected whoever is in No 10 to be a democrat: “We’ve got a mandate for an independence referendum which was won in 2016.

“Of course, whether it’s Boris Johnson or whether it’s Jeremy Corbyn, or it’s anybody else, they’re perfectly entitled to argue against Scottish independence. What they’re not entitled to do is frustrate the democratic interests of the people of Scotland that have voted for that referendum.

“I don’t believe that will happen. I believe we will have an unassailable case in terms of granting that Section 30 order. “ Blackford added: “Look, I will make to you this absolute commitment: there will be a referendum in Scotland, it will happen. But we’re going to do it around the gold standard that was established in 2014.”

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Asked if he was disappointed support for independence wasn’t higher, Blackford said he thought that people were waiting to “see the direction of travel” over the course of the last few years.

He added: “Westminster is not working, it’s not functioning. I can talk about the fact that the promises that were made in 2014 that were not delivered on – that we were going to get home rule, that our position was going to be respected, that we would lead the UK, our rights as EU citizens were going to be respected – none of that has happened.

“What we’ve got in Edinburgh – and it’s right that people should be robust and challenging what the Scottish Government are doing, I get that – but we’ve got a government that is functioning, that is delivering for the people of Scotland.

“I think we’ve got to take a step back and look at what the Scottish Government has done,what the Scottish Parliament has done in the 20-odd years it has been here, and complete that journey.”

The MP described Scotland in Union’s survey which suggested 59% of voters in Scotland wanted to stay in the UK, as a rogue poll.

The pro-Unionist organisation asked voters to choose between leaving or remaining in the UK, rather than saying yes or no to independence.

Blackford said: “What we’re seeing, and I was out in my own constituency last night, the response we’ve had on the streets here today, people are demonstrating very strongly a desire for Scotland to become independent.

“That’s the question that needs to be put to the people of Scotland in any referendum.

“The question that was there in 2014 was the right question to ask. The Electoral Commission were the ones that came forward with that question, it should be respected and that should be the basis of any future referendum. What we had was a clear and unambiguous question in 2014 that should be respected.”

The Electoral Commission has told MSPs that they must be allowed to test any future independence referendum question.