Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to put the national interest ahead of the SNP’s drive for independence and support a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.
The plea was made by Labour MP Ian Murray in a letter to the First Minister in which he argues that her support could be pivotal when it comes to securing a People’s Vote.
Murray, a prominent Remainer and member of Scottish Labour for the Single Market, said there was now a “very real risk” of a “no-deal” Brexit, an outcome that would have “catastrophic consequences”.
In his letter, he called on Sturgeon to encourage the SNP membership to back a referendum on the EU withdrawal deal.
He said: “Your support would have a significant impact and could be pivotal in securing a vote on the Brexit deal. The SNP will hold its annual conference this autumn and I would also urge you to consider encouraging your membership to send a message of support for a People’s Vote.”
Murray alluded to SNP reluctance to support another referendum because of the precedent it would set when it comes to Scottish independence.
Having another vote on the Brexit deal would give ammunition to unionists who would want to revisit a vote for Scottish independence .
“I am aware of concerns within the SNP of the impact of a People’s Vote on your campaign for Scottish independence, but I call on you to put the national interest ahead of your party’s interest. You were elected to represent all the people of Scotland, who voted overwhelmingly for Remain, not just the minority of people who support Scottish independence.
“The outcome of the Brexit negotiations will affect Scotland and the UK for generations to come. Because this is so important for our country’s future, I hope you will join the campaign for a People’s Vote.”
A spokesman for the First Minister said: “It is not the SNP who are standing in the way of a second EU referendum – Ian Murray’s time would be better spent persuading his own Labour colleagues to back him, as currently they are signed up to a hard Brexit which will be devastating for jobs and living standards in Scotland.”
The spokesman added that Scotland’s Remain vote had been ignored by the UK government and by Labour.