Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government that the independence referendum will be held in the Autumn of 2014 giving East Kilbride residents the chance to have their say on Scotland’s future.
Linda said “The people of East Kilbride will have the exciting opportunity to vote in a referendum on Scotland’s future in 2014.
“This is a major opportunity to ensure that that the decisions about Scotland’s future are taken by the people of Scotland and I hope everyone will take part.
“The last week, despite assurances made to me during the Scotland Bill Committee by Scottish Secretary of State, Michael Moore, we have seen the Tories, the Lib-Dems and Labour all try to muscle in on the referendum, so I welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to a referendum made in Scotland by the Scottish people and Scottish Parliament.
“The scaremongering over the legality of Scotland’s referendum from Westminster has been truly appalling. Sovereignty in Scotland lies with the people, not with a Prime Minister from a party that has fewer MPs in Scotland than Giant Pandas.
“The unsubstantiated claims from Westminster about how companies are refusing to invest in Scotland due to the uncertainty over the referendum fly in the face of investments from large companies such as Amazon, Dell and Mitsubushi.
“It is in fact the Westminster Government that failing to investing in Scotland by cutting the Capital budget by 32% and scrapping plans for the Carbon Capture Plant at Longannet as announced back in October.
“It is absolutely vital that our 16 and 17 year olds on the electoral register have a say in the biggest single decision Scotland will have taken in 300 years. Our young people are our future, they have a right to express their view at the ballot box.
“Many politicians have supported extending to franchise to 16 year olds and although we expect the Lib Dems to back-track on their pledges, I am particularly disappointed that so many Labour parliamentarians are turning their backs on our young people. However, this also comes in a week where Labour are happy to stand side-by-side with the Tories against the ambitions of Scotland.
“Above all, this is a matter for Scotland. The people gave the SNP a mandate to run this referendum. The Tories, Lib-Dems and Labour would do well to come to terms with that fact and respect the people’s decision.
“Independence is about giving Scotland a voice in the family of nations at the EU and the UN. To be able to make decisions in the interests of the People of Scotland.
“It is about choosing how to spend monies raised here in Scotland on Scotland. Deciding not to spend £150bn on a new nuclear weapon programme and £32bn on a high speed rail network that won’t reach the Scottish border while at the same time cutting support for disabled people.
“There is much to discuss about what independence will mean and I look forward to engaging with the people of East Kilbride in these issues.”