DOUGLAS Ross has called for Scots to boycott a second independence referendum if it is run without Boris Johnson's agreement.

The Scottish Conservative leader made his views clear after he was asked whether pro-UK voters should run a campaign urging supporters of the Union not to vote.
"I would absolutely boycott that," he said.

"We were told the 2014 referendum was a gold standard of referendums. Nicola Sturgeon accepted that. If that was the gold standard then no-one – not just those who believes in the Union – but those who believe in democracy should enter into this wildcat referendums which would have no actual bearing, in terms of the outcome not being enforceable."

READ MORE: Michael Russell warns Boris Johnson over indyref2 court challenge

Ross's comments were made today at a question and answer session held with him by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank.

His intervention comes as 20 successive polls record majority support for independence with Brexit, the unpopularity of Johnson among Scots and the First Minister's handling of the pandemic cited as reasons for the growing shift among voters.

Ross's remarks also come after the SNP set out its proposals to push ahead with Holyrood legislation to stage a vote if Johnson continues to refuse to hand over powers to the Scottish Parliament to stage a new vote.

In a major policy change, the party's new position would seek to challenge the UK Government that the Scottish Parliament does not have the powers to hold a vote amid the ongoing stand off.

Earlier this month the PM said he thought there should be around 40 years between referendums as he again ruled out agreeing handing the necessary powers to Holyrood under a Section 30 order.

READ MORE: This is the SNP’s routemap to a Scottish independence referendum in full

Michael Russell today said the UK Government will effectively be taking millions of Scots to court if it launches a legal challenge against indyref2

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

Russell's 11-point "roadmap" to indyref2 states 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.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson has a new five-step plan to stop Scottish independence

Russell, who is also the SNP President, 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."

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.

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.

"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."