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12 October 2019
SNP conference to debate ‘undeniable mandate’ for indyref2

Image credit: PA Images

SNP conference to debate ‘undeniable mandate’ for indyref2

SNP depute leader Keith Brown says the party has “an undeniable mandate” for a second independence referendum, ahead of the SNP’s autumn conference which begins in Aberdeen on Sunday.

Around 2,500 SNP members will attend the three-day conference, which will see the party debate a range of issues including Brexit, climate change, drug policy, the economy, human rights, and health and social care.

SNP MP Ian Blackford will open the conference with a speech at 2pm Sunday, and there will be a Brexit Q&A this afternoon involving MSP Mike Russell, MP Joanna Cherry and MEP Alyn Smith.

Foreshadowing one of the big issues to be explored at the event, Brown said “the momentum behind the independence movement makes having that vote a democratic necessity”.

“There is no doubt that independence is coming – and Scotland will soon get to make that choice. We have an undeniable mandate for a referendum, we have a majority in the Scottish Parliament and we have momentum on our side – with support continuing to grow in favour of taking our future into our own hands,” he said.

“In a democracy, no politician should stand in the way of the people. Scotland must have the chance to choose a better future as a matter of democratic necessity.

“We have seen hundreds of thousands taking to the streets, making clear that Scotland’s voice will be heard. And while Westminster politics are well and truly broken, more and more people are convinced that Scotland should grasp the opportunity to become an independent country.

“Though the Tories will always try to hold us back, the unstoppable energy of our movement will ensure we keep moving Scotland forward to independence.”

Last week SNP MP Angus MacNeil and SNP Inverclyde councillor Christopher McEleny said they would ask officials to add a last-minute debate over an a ‘plan B’ alternative route to indyref2 to the agenda. The pair said it was “vital” for the SNP to consider what to do if the UK Government refuses permission for a vote.

“I shall be moving that independence Plan B is added to the agenda from the conference floor. I would urge all SNP members that support an independence Plan B to be there to support,” McEleny tweeted.

“Whether you agree with the proposition of a plan B debate or not, our party is democratic and using party standing orders and rules to question decisions of the ruling body are perfectly legitimate and whilst they might cause inconvenience, they are the mark of a Democratic Party.”

Holyrood will be holding a full calendar of fringe events at the conference over the next few days, kicking off with Achieving Net-Zero: How can industry work with policy makers to create a sustainable economy? at 12.30pm Sunday, followed by The Big Public Health Debate at 5.30pm with Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe Fitzpatrick, and the Health and Social Care Hub Reception at 7.30pm with Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman.

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