Scottish independence: Jeremy Corbyn says Labour and Sir Keir Starmer should grant indyref2 if they win the next general election

Jeremy Corbyn says he agrees with the principle of an independence referendum – and it should happen soon

Jeremy Corbyn says Sir Keir Starmer should grant Scotland a second independence referendum if Labour wins the next general election.

The former UK Labour leader was speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe on Thursday when he made the comments. He said he believed the people of Scotland should be able to decide their own future, and that it should happen sooner rather than later.

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However, he would not be drawn on whether he agrees that Scotland should be independent.

Former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Image: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images.Former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Image: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images.
Former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Image: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images.

Speaking to a packed-out crowd, Mr Corbyn said: “My view is if the people of Scotland want to have a referendum to decide on their future, they should have that right. There shouldn’t be a power of veto by the UK Government or the UK prime minister on this.

“I was clear before the 2019 election I would, if we went into government, support the principle that if Scotland wanted a referendum, then after two years that’s what we would agree to do. I stand by that.”

Mr Corbyn then praised Scotland’s “radical history, spirit and strength”, and said Scotland had a more “global, internationalist view” than England, and has done for decades.

The former leader of the opposition added: “I do support the principle of an independence referendum and I hope it happens soon. I suspect the British government will oppose it.

“I hope, but I don’t know the outcome, that a Labour majority in Parliament would also support a referendum and the democratic right for you to decide your own future.”

The latest polling puts Labour out in front of the Conservatives as the favourites to win the next general election. A recent Survation poll also put Labour only two percentage points behind the SNP in Scotland at a general election.

During his appearance at the Fringe, Mr Corbyn also expressed his disappointment at the Labour Party moving further away from his 2019 manifesto for the party. Since 2020, the Islington North MP has sat in the House of Commons as an independent after losing the Labour Party whip.

While in Edinburgh, he added he had been “very badly treated” by the Labour Party, but was keen to remain as the MP for Islington North at the next general election.



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