Scottish Greens will back Nicola Sturgeon’s call for second independence referendum

Written by Jenni Davidson on 13 March 2017 in News

The plans for a second independence referendum have been criticised by the other parties in the Scottish Parliament

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie - Image credit: Parliament TV

The Scottish Greens have confirmed they will support Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second independence referendum.

The First Minister announced her intention to hold a second independence between autumn 2018 and spring 2019 this morning.

As a minority government, the SNP will need the support of another party in the Scottish Parliament to request a Section 30 order from the UK Government to hold another referendum.


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Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "The Greens welcome the Scottish Parliament’s consent being sought for a Section 30 order on an independence referendum and we will support it.

“Scotland's votes and our voice have been ignored by a Tory government at Westminster which we did not vote for and a feeble Labour opposition.

“The people of Scotland deserve a choice between Hard Brexit Britain and putting our own future in our own hands.”

However, the other three opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament have criticised the plans for a second independence referendum.

The Scottish Conservatives called it “utterly irresponsible”, Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said independence would lead to “turbo-charged austerity” and the Scottish Liberal Democrats criticised the lack of clarity over EU membership.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “Nicola Sturgeon promised the 2014 referendum would be 'once in a generation'.

“Today she has ignored the majority in Scotland who do not want a referendum and has decided instead to double down on division and uncertainty.

“The First Minister's proposal offers Scotland the worst of all worlds. Her timetable would force people to vote blind on the biggest political decision a country could face.

“This is utterly irresponsible and has been taken by the First Minister purely for partisan political reasons.

“Both No and Yes voters have been urging her to put this to one side - but because of her own rash decision to use Brexit in a bid to lever support for independence, she has ignored them completely.

“Quite simply, today the First Minister has failed in her job to act in the interests of all of us.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: “With our country facing all of the uncertainty around the Tories' reckless plans for a hard Brexit, the last thing we need is even more uncertainty and division.

“A clear majority of the people of Scotland voted to reject the SNP’s false hope and lies, and backed working together with the other nations of the UK. 

"The reality is that leaving the UK would mean turbo-charged austerity for Scotland, putting the future of our schools and hospitals at risk.

“Labour believes that together we’re stronger. That is why we firmly oppose a second referendum and Scottish Labour MSPs will vote against the SNP’s proposals next week.

“We will stand up for the people of Scotland, who do not want a second independence referendum. 

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "The SNP have been working towards this announcement for months. They have been determined to contrive a way to ignore their promise that 2014 was ‘once in a generation’.

“There is no wide public support for a new and divisive referendum.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats stood on a manifesto to oppose a divisive referendum and we will do that.

“The big concern is that the SNP’s policy risks leaving Scotland outside of the EU and outside of the UK.

“The First Minister refused to state that Scotland would be a full EU member under her plan.

The SNP have airbrushed membership of the EU from their independence plans. That will let down all those who support the EU.

“That is the worst possible result for jobs, trade and security.”

In order to hold another independence referendum, the Scottish Government would need a Section 30 order from the UK Government, which temporarily transfers reserved powers for the referendum to Holyrood.

Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that she intends to ask the Scottish Parliament to back a request for a Section 30 order next week.

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