THE Scottish Tory leader has accused Nicola Sturgeon of wanting to bring “scenes from Catalonia” to Scotland by holding a referendum without Westminster’s position. 

The current SNP policy is to seek a Section 30 order to hold a referendum in the next parliament. If this is not granted by the Prime Minister, they will seek to arrange a vote and fight any UK Government action against it in the courts. 

Douglas Ross has consistently categorised such a move as an “illegal” or “wildcat” referendum, insisting the Scottish Tories can stop that from taking place. 

The Guardian recently reported that the UK Government is considering softening its independence referendum stance as a way to put people off backing the SNP next month. 

The National:

Ross insisted today that UK ministers are “absolutely united” behind stopping the SNP from securing a majority and preventing a new ballot on independence. 

He explained why he believes the SNP’s route would be “illegal”. “Nicola Sturgeon previously said that the 2014 referendum which had a Section 30 order from the UK Government was the gold standard of referendums,” he told the newspaper.

“Therefore, to seek to go ahead with a referendum without a Section 30 order is illegal, and it would be a wildcat referendum, it will be bringing scenes from Catalonia here to Scotland, and I think absolutely that is not what individuals, families, businesses want to see here in Scotland during our recovery phase.”

READ MORE: Douglas Ross flounders during STV grilling on independence referendum stance

The SNP have been approached for comment. 

Catalonia held an independence referendum in 2017 against the wishes of Madrid. The country’s constitutional court had declared the vote to be illegal. 

Hundreds of people were injured as police tried to stop voting. Spain later jailed nine pro-independence leaders, resulting in further protests. 

An SNP spokesperson said Ross's comments were "simply untrue", and show "the panic and desperation" over indyref2 among the Tories.

"The SNP’s proposals are set out clearly in our manifesto which Mr Ross clearly hasn’t read," they added.

"With a majority in support of a referendum bill in the next parliament, it will be untenable for Boris Johnson to continue to say no to the democratic will of the Scottish people. That is why it must be Both Votes SNP in May."

Last year Labour’s Lisa Nandy faced criticism after saying Scotland could look to Catalonia for answers on beating “divisive nationalism”. 

READ MORE: Lisa Nandy under fire for Catalonia claim in Andrew Neil interview

During an interview with Andrew Neil, Nandy, who was then running for the Labour leadership position, said: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that rather than turn inwards and argue about resources, we should look outwards to other countries and other parts of the world where they’ve had to deal with divisive nationalism and seek to discover the lessons from when in those brief moments in history in places like Catalonia and Quebec we have managed to go and beat narrow, divisive nationalism with a social justice agenda."

She later said the backlash was an example of how the SNP “wilfully distort comments beyond all recognition”.