Scottish Independence: Joanna Cherry MP tells SNP to abandon fighting Brexit

The Edinburgh South West MP said there was no point in “fighting last year’s battles”.

The SNP should abandon attempts to ‘stop Brexit’ and focus on campaigning for a second independence referendum, Joanna Cherry MP has said.

The Edinburgh South West MP said there was no point in fighting “last year’s battles” and said the chances of a Brexit extension being granted before the end of the transition period were now “negligible”.

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In a column for The National, Ms Cherry said the SNP’s power at Westminster had been diluted by Boris Johnson’s victory last December, despite the party winning 13 more seats.

"The sad reality is that because Johnson won big in England and has an 80-seat majority, the SNP group at Westminster have less power in this parliament with 48 seats than we had with 35 seats in the previous hung parliament,” she wrote.

She insisted that the “days of endless Brexit skirmishes are over” now that cross-party coalitions could no longer challenge the government as it had during the tenure of Theresa May.

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She insisted that trying to “stop Brexit” had been the right thing to do, but conceded: “we lost the battle and Brexit is now an irreversible reality.”

The SNP should abandon attempts to ‘stop Brexit’ and focus on campaigning for a second independence referendum, Joanna Cherry MP has said. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP) (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)

"It is important that we don’t expend energy fighting last year’s battles," she added.

Ms Cherry, the SNP’s shadow justice and home affairs secretary at Westminster, called on her party to campaign for Scottish independence instead, citing polls which showed an increase in support for the movement.

"We know that the legacy of our opposition to Brexit has been increased support for the SNP and for independence,” she said, “What the SNP must do now is to nurture that goodwill to deliver an independent Scotland."

She said the campaign would have to answer to “legitimate questions” on currency, Scottish membership of the EU, and trade with the UK.

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“The SNP needs fresh arguments for a new independence campaign,” she concluded, “There is no point in unthinkingly repeating past mantras or fighting past battles.”

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