MPs back calls for early split referendum
A GROWING number of Labour MPs have backed calls for an early referendum to settle the question of independence.
They believe putting the issue to a vote would remove the SNP's call for an independent Scotland from the agenda for the foreseeable future.
Michael Connarty, MP for Linlithgow and Falkirk East, said Labour should not be afraid of a referendum.
Midlothian MP David Hamilton said: "We should have a referendum sooner rather than later."
Glasgow North West MP John Robertson added: "We should go for it now, get this out of the way and then focus on the issues that matter."
It was claimed earlier this week the idea of staging a referendum on independence to "shoot the Nationalists' fox" was discussed informally at the highest Cabinet levels, but ruled out.
The SNP proposes a referendum in 2010.
Labour has always officially opposed an independence plebiscite.
Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander recently said it is "highly unlikely" the party would change its mind and back such a vote.
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