Scottish independence: Struan Stevenson discusses open letter
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Ellen Wong, Principal Officer of the US Consulate General in Edinburgh said it wanted “political and economic stability” from its allies rather than significant upheaval from the prospect of IndyRef2. In a clear signal of opposition to Scottish independence, Ms Wong who joined the Edinburgh Consulate under the Trump administration in October 2018 stressed the importance of maintaining close ties.
The senior US diplomat stressed Scotland and the US had developed close business, cultural and educational links since the start of devolution in 1999 and hinted these could be impacted by a second vote.
Ms Wong added: “I’m not going to speak on behalf of President Biden but what I would say is you know I listed all these many ties that exist across the Atlantic and I think our priority is ensuring that these ties continue to be strong and continue to prosper.
“Regardless of the Brexit process or any constitutional question, we want to ensure that there is domestic political and economic stability because that’s the ally that we want.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold another separation vote by the end of 2023.
A draft agenda for the SNP’s annual national conference shows party members will be asked to endorse proposals for a new independence push, arguing this is “essential” for a successful recovery from the Covid pandemic.
A separate motion states that legislation for a new referendum should be introduced at Holyrood “at the earliest moment” after a “clear end” to the current public health crisis.
Another row could also erupt over SNP ministers’ position on nuclear weapons at Faslane on the River Clyde.
A motion filed at the upcoming conference claimed that Trident nuclear weapons would be removed from Scottish waters within just three years of independence day.
But Ms Wong, who is moving to Germany, made clear the base was of particular strategic importance to the US.
She added to The Times of Scotland the US State Department was “certainly monitoring the situation here closely”.
It comes after it emerged that the SNP was preparing a “diplomatic effort” to provide “reassurance” Scotland could be seen as trustworthy to the Biden administration.
The Express also learnt last year party policy officials are looking at how the Biden administration could improve future relations with Scotland.
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Alyn Smith MP, the party’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, said having President Biden onboard would increase their reach to “tell Scotland’s story”.
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