The People’s Vote campaign, championed by Nicola Sturgeon, is “dead," a senior SNP source has suggested.

Last autumn, the First Minister announced her party was swinging behind the campaign for a second referendum as the best means of securing Scotland's and the UK’s continued membership of the EU; the SNP’s primary goal in the Brexit process.


But one MP made clear it was a misguided policy; last month a cross-party group of MPs who were on the point of tabling an amendment calling for a People’s Vote pulled their amendment because of the lack of support from Jeremy Corbyn.

“It’s dead and everyone knows it. Many people in the party are taking this view now,” declared the senior source.

Last year, some in the party expressed reservations about a second EU poll because of the implications this could have for any future referendum on Scottish independence; that is, it would be argued that a confirmative vote would be needed in the event of a Yes vote in favour of Scotland breaking away from the UK.

The MP expressed astonishment at the party leadership’s change of heart when Ms Sturgeon appeared on television to confirm it back in October.

The senior source suggested that for the number of people who were backing Scottish independence because of Brexit, there was an equal number who were opposing it because of Brexit.

But a parliamentary colleague denied that the campaign for a second EU poll was now a lost cause. “I genuinely don’t believe it is dead,” he declared. “It needs another boost. We are in dead[parliamentary] time at the moment as Theresa May runs down the clock.”

The MP added: “The campaign is still there. We need to know how things will pan out and a People’s Vote is one way out. The important thing is to keep us in the EU.”

Ian Blackford, the party leader at Westminster, when asked if the People’s Vote was now not going to happen, replied: “I would have to concede at the moment, there isn’t sufficient momentum for that to take place. The blame for that has to lie at the door of Jeremy Corbyn refusing to join that campaign. If he got on board, we would have that sense of momentum and we could win the case for a People’s Vote and a number of Conservatives would join us in that cause as well.”

But asked if he too conceded that the campaign for a second EU vote was now dead, the Highland MP replied: “No…We need a sense of momentum and we can only have that sense of momentum if Labour decide to join the rest of us in arguing for it.”

Over the weekend, Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, made clear that his party would back a People’s Vote if Theresa May failed to get a cross-party Brexit deal.

His intervention came just days after Mr Corbyn appeared to kill off the prospect of a second EU poll in his letter to the Prime Minister over a soft Brexit deal.

But Mr Watson made clear that if she did not agree to such a course and, instead, chose “to go with the hard right people who want to crash out, then we’ve still got the People’s Vote option”.