SNP urged to back second referendum on Brexit

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Nicola Sturgeon is facing calls to back a second referendum on the final terms of Brexit by Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable.

He will use his keynote speech at the Lib Dems’ Scottish conference in Aviemore today to step up the pressure on the Nationalists to join the campaign for a vote on the final terms of Brexit when they are clear.

SNP urged to  back second Brexit campaign by Vince Cable. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

SNP urged to back second Brexit campaign by Vince Cable. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The First Minister has said a second vote could become “irresistible”, but has stopped short of backing one.

Sir Vince will say that people from “across the political spectrum” are getting behind calls for a second vote.

But he will add: “A notable absence is the SNP. My party is working with the SNP to keep the UK in the single market.

“But it is not enough for the SNP to lament the consequences of Brexit, and of leaving the single market.

“In today’s political environment, Brexit is not – or doesn’t need to be – inevitable but time is running out for the SNP to play their part in stopping it.”

He will add: “We are now winning big votes in the House of Lords on the EU Withdrawal Bill. One of the great ironies of our time is that it is a fundamentally undemocratic chamber which is being left to do the hard work of safeguarding democracy.”

Sir Vince will say that SNP votes in the House of Commons would be “crucial” if the Brexit legislation returns from the Lords with an amendment to enable a referendum on a final deal.

“So Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP will have a decision to make,” he will say. “The national interest or her party interest. Save the United Kingdom from Brexit, or ­pursue her dogged agenda of ­seeing Scotland out of both the unions which safeguard its prosperity.

“Scotland surely will not forgive her if she makes the wrong choice.”