EU exit would justify second referendum, says senior Tory
Senior Tory MP backs SNP claim that vote to leave EU would provide justification for holding second referendum
A senior Tory MP has stated that a vote to leave the EU would provide justification for holding a second referendum.
While Prime Minister David Cameron has called for independence supporters to “move on”, Foreign Affairs Select Committee Chair Sir Crispin Blunt has echoed the SNP in suggesting “strategic change in the United Kingdom” would justify a second vote.
In an interview with Total Politics – expected to be published shortly – Blunt said: “The only conceivable circumstance that can be justified [for a second independence vote] is if there was some strategic change in the United Kingdom. Now leaving the European Union would be it in my view."
“If we left the European Union and if Scotland had voted to leave as well as everybody else then I don’t think there would be an issue.
“But there would be an issue if people in Scotland have voted to say yes and to stay in. If that was drowned out by an English, Welsh and Northern Irish vote to leave then they would then have a point and in my view they would then be entitled to put the question again if the SNP got another mandate at a Scottish election.”
But the comments seem to contradict a statement made by the PM this morning.
Cameron said: “One year ago Scotland’s majority spoke. More Scots voted to keep our Kingdom United than have ever voted for any Party in any election in Scottish history.
“They voted decisively for a powerful Scottish parliament within a strong and secure United Kingdom. We listened. So let me be crystal clear: Scottish devolution is woven into the very fabric of our United Kingdom.”
Promising to make the Scottish Parliament permanent, Cameron said: “Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and I signed the Edinburgh Agreement which pledged we would all respect the outcome of last year’s momentous vote. We all agreed – as do the Scottish public - that the independence referendum should be a 'once in a generation' or a 'once in a lifetime' event.”
“So now it is time to move on. Some may want to obsess about separation. But I am focussed on delivering devolution so that the debate can move on from what powers the Scottish Parliament should have, to how they are used to better the lives of the people of Scotland.
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