David Mundell: SNP must take second independence referendum ‘off the table’

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David Mundell has demanded the SNP take a second independence referendum “off the table”.

Mr Mundell, speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to snap out of her “constitutional Groundhog Day” and get on with the day job of running Scotland.

Scotland Secretary David Mundell leaves Downing Street. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Scotland Secretary David Mundell leaves Downing Street. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The Cabinet minister also criticised Jeremy Corbyn for his decision not to rule out another independence vote.

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The Labour leader previously said he was “not ruling out” giving consent for a second referendum and he would decide on the issue “at the time”.

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Mr Mundell said: “Every day that Scotland is stuck in a constitutional Groundhog Day is a day that our economy is being held back and that the SNP Government is not getting on with the day job of managing our schools and hospitals.

“So I want to use this opportunity to say to Sturgeon, it is time to end the constitutional uncertainty that we have lived with for the past four years.

“It is time for Scotland’s two governments to work together in the best interests of the Scottish people. It is time to move on.”

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Mr Mundell and the Cabinet Office minister David Lidington both attacked Jeremy Corbyn from the stage in Birmingham, questioning his commitment to the Union.

“Just two weeks ago, Jeremy Corbyn said that he ‘would decide at the time’ what to do if Sturgeon asked for his consent for a second independence referendum,” Mr Mundell said.

“Conference, a man that can’t even make up his mind about the future of this country, is a man that we can never let into Downing Street.”

He added: “Jeremy Corbyn has proven time and time again that Labour does not believe that keeping our country together is an important priority.

“It is clear that if you believe in the Union, if you believe in a competitive and strong Scottish economy and if you believe that public services can and should be better, then the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party is your political home.”

Mr Mundell also turned his fire on the SNP, claiming they would “sell out our fishing communities in a heartbeat to re-join the EU.”

He said that after Brexit, the UK “will be able to take back control of our fishing waters and become an independent coastal state, where we negotiate quotas for domestic and foreign fishermen.

“This will deliver a thriving and sustainable future for our fishing industry.”