MPs to debate indyref2 at Westminster

Independence supporters march in Glasgow in September 2016. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
Independence supporters march in Glasgow in September 2016. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
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The prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum will be debated in the House of Commons after hundreds of thousands demanded a halt to any plans for another separation poll.

Earlier in the year, more than 220,000 people signed a petition titled, ‘Another Scottish independence referendum should not be allowed to happen’, in response to nationalist petition calling for indyref2.

In April, the UK Government responded to the calls, saying in a statement: “The UK Government is clear that now is not the time for a second independence referendum.”

Now, MPs on the House of Commons Petitions Committee have organised a non-binding Westminster hall debate on the issue which will take place on 13 November.

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The pro-independence petition, which was lodged on the House of Commons website, attracted over 38,000 signatures and states: “The actions of the UK government after the Brexit vote do not align with the people of Scotland. We are not bigoted.

“We are not racist.

“We welcome everybody based on their contribution, not on where they come from. The UK government does not behave in this way, and so we must LEAVE.”

The counter-petition, which attracted over five times as many signatories, said: “We in Scotland are fed up of persecution by the SNP leader who is solely intent on getting independence at any cost.

“As a result, Scotland is suffering hugely. “

At the SNP conference this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in her keynote address to delegates that she already has a mandate for a second referendum and only the timing remained to be clarified.

“Scotland should have the right to choose our future when the terms of Brexit are clear,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“We have a mandate to give the people that choice. That mandate was won fairly and squarely. But exercising it must be done with the interests of all of Scotland at heart. People want clarity about Brexit first.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon speech: Independence offers Scots ‘a better future’