SNP member puts possibility of second Scottish independence vote due to Brexit back on the agenda

SNP member puts possibility of second Scottish independence vote due to Brexit back on the agenda

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Scottish National Party member Ian Blackford, who called for an emergency debate on Brexit on Tuesday, has said that if Scotland is “taken out the EU against our will”, that the SNP could bring forward its call for another Scottish independence referendum.

“In 2014 when we had our referendum, we produced an 800-page white paper,” he said of the vote as to whether Scotland should become independent from the rest of the UK. “Look at what happened in 2016 - we had a slogan on the side of a bus.

“We were told that if we stayed in the United Kingdom, Scotland would remain a member of the European Union.

“We face the situation that in the referendum of 2016, the people of Scotland voted to remain by 62%, and we were told if we stayed in the United Kingdom we’d be respected as a partner in the UK.

“We don’t find we’re leading the UK. It’s taking us out of the EU against our will.

“The SNP will not sit back and allow the people of Scotland to allow the people to be dragged out of the EU against our will. Scotland is a European nation.”


'Majority for another referendum'

Watch: Ian Blackford says there could be another Scottish referendum if Scotland is 'threatened'. Video: Parliament TV

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said that the SNP was working with the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party to try and “save the UK from Brexit”.

“If we get to the end of that process and there is a threat to economic prosperity in Scotland, it’s very clear that the Scottish parliament has a mandate to call an independence referendum,” Mr Blackford continued.

“There is a majority in the Scottish parliament to hold that referendum. If they come forward with a request for a Section 30 authority, this house must allow the people of Scotland to determine their own future.”

Section 30 is the part of the Scotland Act 1998 that requires the leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, to seek an order from the UK parliament that allows the Scottish parliament to legislate for a referendum.

Ms Sturgeon first said in 2017 that she wanted to bring another independence referendum, but planned to delay it until after the end of the Brexit process.

In November this year Ms Sturgeon said there was too much “chaos” around Brexit to give an indication of when she might look to hold a second referendum.


Corbyn a 'midwife for Brexit'

Mr Blackford’s comments suggest that a Scottish independence referendum may climb back up the SNP’s agenda.

He also called on Jeremy Corbyn to table a motion of no confidence in the government, and for that debate to be held “tomorrow”, as well as saying that a vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal was needed “this week”.

Mr Blackford criticised Mr Corbyn for not officially tabling the motion on Monday - where the Labour leader used wording that was not in line with requirements to bring about a no confidence vote.

“The leader of the opposition has become the midwife for Brexit,” Mr Blackford said.

“Yesterday’s stunt was an embarrassment.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Labour MP Chris Williamson said Labour had not brought a no confidence vote because they “wouldn’t win” it.