Ian Blackford (Edinburgh, 58 years old) is extremely respectful of Catalan independence, but does not want to leave the slightest margin of doubt. Up to four times he repeats, as a warning signal, that the Scottish Government of the SNP (Scottish National Party) “would never do that” when asked about the unilateral route of the process. “One of the keys to success is to obtain international recognition, and to achieve this you must use constitutional methods. As simple as that, ”says this investment banker, a politician who in the last three years has become the voice of Scottish nationalism in the House of Commons.
He meets with a group of European correspondents on the same day that Boris Johnson has sent a letter to the main minister of that territory, Nicola Sturgeon, to tell her that he will not support the holding of a new independence referendum. “We do not accept that Johnson’s letter is the end of this whole matter. From now on, what we are going to do is launch a campaign throughout Scotland to convince the public to join our determination to defend the right to decide. And in the end, be it Johnson or anyone else in charge of a conservative government, they won’t be able to dodge that request. They cannot stop the desire of the Scottish people to have something to say about their future, ”says Blackford.
He is a resounding character in the physical and elegant in forms. If the dress makes the person, their three-piece suits of Scottish tweed betray a politician who pursues alliances before clashes. Although, every week, in the British Parliament, he reminds the Prime Minister that the Scots did not vote in favor of Brexit, and that the current drift of the United Kingdom moves them further away from the common project.
“What I have proposed to my party is that from now on we must concentrate on building a consensus within Scotland, and convince all those who in the 2014 referendum voted against independence. But let it be clear, we are a constitutional party. We do not believe that Johnson can settle this matter with a simple refusal. This is a political issue, and we want to resolve it politically. But we will also win in all legal discussions. We are willing to win this battle, ”he says.
And to win it, says Blackford, street demonstrations are not the key. It is about involving in the discussion every Scottish citizen, every town, in a door-to-door campaign. And to also involve international institutions, starting with the European Union. And what leads you to think that the EU would welcome a segregated nation with open arms? Are you not worried about the reaction, for example, of Spain? “There have already been many statements by the Spanish Foreign Minister (referring to the former minister, Josep Borrell) in which he acknowledges that the situation in Scotland is clearly different from that in Catalonia. And the fact of having insisted again and again that we will only do this with constitutional methods marks a clear distance from what happened in Spain. I appreciate the positive statements made by our friends in Madrid,” the nationalist politician insists.