ROWLEY ‘WOULD NOT OPPOSE’ REFERENDUM IN BREXIT AFTERMATH
As reported today, Alex Rowley MSP made clear that he would “not oppose” a second referendum – and that “the SNP were clear in their manifesto that the Scottish Parliament would have the right to hold another one if there was a ‘significant and material change’ in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014 – such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been clear that as the Scottish Government seeks to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, all options are on the table – including the possibility of holding another independence referendum.
Commenting, East Kilbride MSP Linda Fabiani said:
“These are welcome comments from Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader – making clear that the Scottish Parliament has the right to hold an independence referendum if it becomes clear this is the best or only way to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, and that he would not oppose such a referendum.
“Alex Rowley is also absolutely right to point out that any such referendum would be a completely different prospect from the 2014 referendum – the fact is that the UK which Scotland voted to stay part of two years ago simply doesn’t exist anymore in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
“The First Minister has rightly said that as we seek to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, all options are on the table, including a second independence referendum, and it is encouraging to see the emerging cross-party support for that, should it be the chosen route to maintain our EU status.”
Alex Rowley’s comments are reported on Page 2 of Wednesday’s edition of the Scottish Sun.
“I have lost count of the number of people that have asked whether I support a second referendum on independence. My response is that I would not oppose such a referendum.
“I accept the SNP were clear in their manifesto that the Scottish Parliament would have the right to hold another one if there was a ‘significant and material change’ in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014 – such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.”
He said that another referendum would be “a very different proposition” from the 2014 referendum and that “we do not know at this point what a UK out of Europe will look like. It is difficult to assess what will be in the best interests of the people of Scotland but we can set some guiding principles. These should include what is best in terms of our economy and jobs, pensions and dignity in retirement, free high quality education, health and public services and the security of our nation.”