Call for views on second independence referendum plans

Written by Tom Freeman on 4 January 2017 in News

Members of the public urged to give views on a second independence referendum as the consultation enters its final week

Derek Mackay - Scottish Government

People are being urged to give their views on the Scottish Government’s draft Referendum Bill before the consultation closes next week.

Ministers propose a future referendum be run in a similar fashion to the one in 2014.

Constitution Secretary Derek Mackay said the option of independence must "stay on the table" in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the EU.


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"Our intention is that the Bill is ready for introduction should the Scottish Government decide that a referendum on independence is the best or only way to protect Scotland's interests," he said.

“It is important that any future referendum on independence would meet the gold standard in terms of fairness, transparency and propriety set by the one in 2014 - and I’d encourage anyone with an interest to give us their views before the consultation closes next week.”

Unionist parties called for the SNP to rule out another referendum. 

Scottish Labour's Europe spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: "There should not be a second independence referendum and there will be absolutely no support from Labour for the SNP's reckless plan.

"Scottish Labour is very clear that we want the UK to retain access to the EU single market to protect jobs and the rights of workers in Scotland, but the most important single market to Scotland is the UK. The SNP’s own figures confirm that remaining part of the UK single market is more important for Scotland’s economy than even being in the EU.  

"With power returning from Brussels, it is now clear that we need a People's Constitutional Convention and a new Act of Union to reform where power lies across the whole of our country, and to save the Union from the threat of the SNP and the Tories who risk pulling it apart."

The ultimate decision on whether Scotland could hold another referendum on independence remains at Westminster.

The Scottish Government consultation is available until 11 January 2017 here

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