Eric Joyce to campaign for Scottish independence
Former Labour MP Eric Joyce is setting up an online campaign to convince those who voted against Scottish independence to back it in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
Joyce, who was forced to quit as MP for Falkirk after headbutting a fellow MP in a House of Commons bar in 2012, has used his blog to announce the ‘From No to Yes’ campaign.
Despite the fact Joyce campaigned for a No vote in 2014, the recent vote to leave the EU has “fatally undermined” arguments against Scottish independence, he said, arguing unionists would need “outright dogmatism” not to reconsider their opinion.
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He now plans a series of events to support people to move from No to Yes, he added.
He said: “Many of us voted ‘No’ to independence because we were told – by UK politicians and EU officials alike – that remaining within the UK was our only hope of remaining EU citizens. Some of us actually were those very politicians!”
Labour supporters and politicians will be pivotal, argues Joyce. These include some politicians who he claims “already have one foot in the independence camp”, like MEP David Martin.
Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn could be convinced once they realise the prospect of him becoming Prime Minister is a “pipe dream”, while those on the right of the party may see independence as a chance to be relevant again in Scotland, Joyce argues.
“There’s a group of Labour folk who’d prefer Tory unionism to independence and they won’t waver. But there are plenty of regular Scottish Labour people who want Labour, or some successor perhaps, to hold power in Scotland again,” he wrote.
Liberal Democrats and those who have recently moved to Scotland from England could also be convinced, according to Joyce.