Petition to delay indyref2 thrown out by MSPs

MSPs voted by 69 to 59 in favour last month of seeking permission for a second referendum. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
MSPs voted by 69 to 59 in favour last month of seeking permission for a second referendum. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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MSPs have rejected a petition urging the Scottish Government not to call a second referendum on independence until after 2020.

A petition lodged by David Robertson was closed by unanimous decision of Holyrood’s petitions committee on the basis it had been superseded by events.

The Scottish Parliament voted by 69 to 59 in favour last month of seeking permission for a referendum before the UK leaves the European Union (EU).

The UK Government has said it will withhold the powers, with Theresa May stating ”now is not the time” for another vote on the issue.

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald said: “The Scottish Parliament has voted to hold an independence referendum once the terms of Brexit are clear and it would be undemocratic and completely unsustainable in my view to block the will of parliament.”

Tory MSP Brian Whittle said: “Through gritted teeth, I do have to agree that it’s not within this committee’s remit to go against the will of parliament.”

READ MORE: SNP accused of promoting ‘civil conflict’ in indyref2 push

Committee convener Labour’s Johann Lamont said closing the petition “was not closing the debate”.

She said: “We know what the Scottish Government’s position is, we know what the main opposition main parties’ are, we know that the country itself is divided .

“This will be something that will exercise the people of Scotland and beyond for some time to come.

“Certainly, things have moved on from when the petition was lodged. The parliament has taken a view on it, the UK Government has taken a view on it.

“The one thing I would want to emphasise is not that we don’t regard this as an important issue in closing the petition, we feel that this is something that is going to be a debate that will be conducted in the chamber and in the country regardless of the view of the Petitions Committee.”