Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Alistair Carmichael described the SNP’s election campaign as “poor” and launched a scathing attack against the party’s continued push for a second national vote on Scottish independence. The MP for Orkney and Shetland, who is also the party’s Home Affairs spokesperson, criticised Nicola Sturgeon’s performance in the recent live televised election debates with her political rivals. He also destroyed the First Minister’s recent interview on the BBC Today programme, which saw her left rattled in tense row over the SNP’s independence plans.
Mr Carmichael told Express.co.uk: “The SNP’s campaign has been poor. Nicola Sturgeon, who is usually very self-assured, has not performed well in the live televised debates.
“Her interview on the Today programme on Friday morning was an absolute car crash.
“Their message is completely wrong. There is just no appetite for, even among independence supporters, for another referendum at the moment.
“It is only really the die-hards that have any enthusiasm for that at all.
“This is ‘Politics 101’ – if your message is wrong, then you won’t activate your activists and core support. That’s where they are at the moment.”
The Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader also warned an SNP majority would see the same divisions and arguments continue in the country at a time when it needs to come together and bounce back from the impacts of the Covid pandemic.
He claimed these divisions formed seven years ago in the lead-up to the first independence referendum “have never healed”, adding people he has spoken to on doorsteps while campaigning “want a rest” from that.
Mr Carmichael said: “If the SNP wins a majority, we would carry on with the old arguments and old divisions at a time when we need a Government to bring everyone together to tackle these challenges as a united nation. If you reopen the independence debate, it would just be a recipe for more national division.
READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon’s independence currency plan torn apart in TV debate
During the interview on the BBC Today programme last Friday, Ms Sturgeon was confronted about the possibility of an independent Scottish SNP Government being unable to revive the struggling economy because of the lack of a national currency.
BBC Today programme host Justin Webb said: “Could Scotland continue with quantitative easing? This almost accounting trick, really, that has kept us afloat as a country and indeed has been keeping other countries afloat as well whereby the central bank buys back Government bonds.
“You’ve just mentioned, eventually, having your own currency but for a time you would not have the euro and use pound sterling, wouldn’t you? So you wouldn’t be able to use QI.”
Ms Sturgeon replied: “We would use sterling, we would set up our own central bank and we would be able to perform the duties of a central bank.
“We currently are part of the central bank of the UK, we would have a share of the debt and of the assets of the UK and we would negotiate that when Scotland votes that.”
But BBC presenter Mr Webb continued to press the SNP leader on the potential problems, adding: “You couldn’t engage in quantitative easing so, in an emergency like the one we’ve just face you’d be.
“Being part of the currency union, as it were, that is the United Kingdom has helped Scotland from what would otherwise have been a disaster.”
Ms Sturgeon replied: “We’ve been part of the UK, we pay our way in the UK but actually the experience of Scotland over the past few years has not been of rescue.
“It’s been about having things done to us against our will. We’ve just been taken out of the European Union.”