A PRO-EU commentator has said if Scotland is denied indyref2 then the UK is “not a Union, it’s a prison”.

Jonathan Lis, the deputy director of pro-European think tank British Influence, told Byline TV that the SNP had won successive mandates in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2021, to hold an independence referendum.

The commentator then asked what more Scots would have to do to be granted the right to hold a ballot.

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It comes as the SNP published their bid to intervene in the Supreme Court case over the Referendum Bill, with lawyers arguing it was “fair, just and reasonable” for the political party to give written and oral submissions to the court.

Lis previously told Sky News in May 2021 that the Union “is not a prison” during a segment where he backed Scotland’s right to determine its future.

In the immediate aftermath of the Scottish Parliament election Lis told the broadcaster that there was now a clear case for indyref2. 

“If the people have asked for something it’s a duty to give it,” he added.

And now, the deputy think tank chief has hit out at the hypocrisy of the UK Government.

Lis said: “The Conservatives had a mandate to govern and they had a right to implement their manifesto after 2019, no one was calling for a [Brexit] referendum after the election.

"And in the same way, it is simply untenable for Scotland, the Scottish people, the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament to be denied a referendum when that has been an SNP manifesto commitment in the last four national elections.

“In 2021 in the Scottish Parliament elections, 2019 general election, 2017 general election, and the 2016 Scottish parliament election where Sturgeon said if there was a material change in circumstances such as the Brexit vote then we would want to hold a referendum.

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"So that’s four elections that the SNP has had an independence referendum in its manifesto and it’s won all four of those elections.

“What more do the Scottish people have to do to ask for a referendum? Under the system, what more could they have to do?

“And if they don’t have the right to ask for a referendum then what are we actually saying about Scotland’s right of determination?

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“Is there any legal right to secede from the Union, and if not then this is not a Union, it’s a prison.”

Lis previously argued in 2021 the founding principle of the Union is mutual consent and if the Scottish people no longer consent, that must be respected.

He said: "The question is really – why does the will of the people only matter when they’re English?

“The Union is not a prison. The founding principle of the Union was it’s by mutual consent.”