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Kenny MacAskill, former secretary of justice in the Scottish government under the leadership of Alex Salmond, has suggested the possibility that Scotland, out of necessity, might have to emulate some aspects of Catalonia's path towards independence: moving unilaterally to hold a consultation if it is not possible to obtain the approval of central government. MacAskill proposed this approach in a column published in The Scotman, which has provoked controversy. "If Westminster won't grant a referendum, Scotland has the right to act," MacAskill argues.

MacAskill, of the Scottish National Party (SNP), is a firm advocate of a second referendum on independence for Scotland - the so-called indyref2. He argues that referendums are the best way to solve "major constitutional issues." MacAskill is concerned because the attitude of the British Conservatives is becoming more intransigent, with an apparent willingness to block a second referendum forever.

In this context, says MacAskill, "other strategies need to be devised", speculating that a new Scottish electoral vote would place pressure on Westminster, but saying that "only a plebiscite will ultimately do". Although the former Scottish minister doesn't spell out exactly how far he thinks Scottish unilateral pressure should go, a debate has opened, with some arguing on social media that it is time for civil disobedience.

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