THE UK Government will effectively be taking millions of Scots to court if it launches a legal challenge against indyref2, Michael Russell has warned.

The Constitution Secretary urged Westminster to see sense as he faced questions about the SNP’s plan for a second plebiscite.

Over the weekend, the party published an 11-point "roadmap" to indyref2, which stated another vote could be held if a pro-Yes majority is returned to Holyrood in May, regardless of whether a Section 30 order is granted by Westminster.

The document said it would then be for the UK Government to decide if it wanted to try and block it through the courts.

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SNP president Russell told the BBC he hopes a court battle will not be necessary, adding: "We're saying to the world: if the people of Scotland vote for something, they should get it – that's unremarkable.

"I think it's such a bad look for any government to say 'Even if the people of Scotland vote for something, we'll take them to court to stop them'.

"[It's] not just the Government – that would essentially be taking the whole people of Scotland who voted for it to court."

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He also said he did not think the UK Government would take such action.

"I think sense prevails, but it is quite fair that we say we intend to deliver that, so we'll carry on with our referendum and if the UK Government wish to challenge that in court, they will have to challenge it and we will defend it," he explained.

Russell would not be drawn on what would happen if the UK Supreme Court rejected the referendum as unlawful.

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There is no set timetable for the holding of a referendum laid out in the document, but it does say it must occur after the pandemic has ended.

Independence after the pandemic, Russell said, would allow Scotland to better rebuild after the economic toll taken by Covid-19.

"The connection with the pandemic is to make sure that Scotland rebuilds in the way it needs to rebuild for its future," he said.

"That is what we need to do, focused on Scotland's needs and Scotland's priorities, not be treated in the way we have been treated over the last many years and particularly during Brexit – that is ignored."

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Later, Johnson was pressed on whether he would legally challenge plans for an advisory independence referendum if the SNP win a majority in May’s elections.

The Prime Minister said: “The whole UK is going through a pandemic, I think what the people of the UK want to see is everybody focusing on beating that pandemic, which we are, rolling out the vaccine, and getting ready to bounce back from that pandemic and have the strongest possible economic recovery.

“I think people also can see everywhere in the UK the visible benefits of our wonderful union.

“A vaccine programme that is being rolled out by a National Health Service, a vaccine that was developed in labs in Oxford and is being administered by the British Army, so I think the strengths and advantages of the Union speak for themselves.”