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by Chris Marshall
22 April 2021
Sarwar: Division over independence is 'paralysing' Scottish politics

Sarwar: Division over independence is 'paralysing' Scottish politics

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has accused the SNP and the Conservatives of "feeding off division" in the dispute over a second independence referendum.

Sarwar, who will today launch his party's manifesto, told Radio 4's Today programme that disputes over the constitution had "paralysed" Scottish politics and halted progress on key issues.

He said:  “You have two political parties in Scotland, both the SNP and the Tories, who feed off each other, feed off division, they feed of us vs them and they feed off the Yes / No divide.

"It paralyses the rest of our politics and means we can’t make progress. I’m not willing to do that; I’m not willing to ignore the half of the population that doesn’t agree with me on the constitution."

He added:  “I’m clear on the constitution – I don’t support independence, I don’t support a referendum.

"But that doesn’t stop me wanting to build a country, a fairer and stronger nation for everyone and that’s why I’m appealing to Yes voters, No voters, Leave voters, Remain voters – let’s not go back to those old arguments, of settling scores and old egos. Let’s instead focus on what unites us and build that better Scotland together."

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “Labour may have yet another new leader, but it’s the same old anti-democratic position of denying the people of Scotland’s right to determine their own future - they are completely out of touch with their own supporters.
 
“Anas Sarwar is also at odds with the trade unions, who have made clear their support for the basic democratic principle that there should be a referendum if the people of Scotland vote for one.
 
“Rather than letting the people of Scotland decide what kind of recovery they want to build after the pandemic, a vote for Labour means leaving the key decisions about Scotland’s future in the hands of Boris Johnson and the Tories."
 

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