SNP will launch Commons move for second indyref if Brexit goes ahead

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: House of Commons/PA Wire
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The SNP will launch a Commons move this week to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence if Brexit goes ahead.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said Scots must be able to choose “their own destiny” if Brexit takes place despite the country having voted against it in the 2016 EU referendum.

MPs will have a meaningful vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal and the SNP will seek to ensure Scotland’s constitutional situation is reflected in this.

“We will be putting down an amendment this week,” Mr Blackford told BBC Politics Scotland today.

“It will be reflecting on what happened in the Scottish Parliament and in the Welsh Assembly this week simultaneously. There was a motion that came in front of both Parliaments that recognised that Theresa May’s deal and no deal are not good for Scotland.

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“What we’re going to do is put down an amendment asking for the Government to recognise that Scotland voted to Remain. We’re also putting down, as part of that amendment, a recognition that if the UK does leave the European Union, the people of Scotland should be able to determine their own destiny.

“And in particular they should have the power to have an independence referendum if we so choose and we’re making reference in that to the Claim of Right in the debate we had in Parliament in July 2018 when Parliament accepted the motion that sovereignty rests with the Scottish people.

“We will do what we can to work with other parties to stop Brexit, but we need to recognise if that does happen, the people of Scotland have got to determine their own future.”

He added that SNP support for a People’s Vote will not be conditional on the guarantee of authorisation being granted for a second Scottish independence referendum.

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“What we will do is work with others to make sure that we can get a People’s Vote,” he added.

“If it is the case that Scotland is dragged out of the EU against its will, then, of course, we have to protect the interests of the people of Scotland.”

Control over the UK constitution lies with Westminster and Theresa May has ruled out providing a “section 30” order which would give the Scottish Government the authority to stage a second referendum on independence. Nicola Sturgeon last week ruled out a “wildcat” vote on leaving the UK.

But Mr Blackford added: “In the final analysis we have to have the right to protect the interests of the people of Scotland and that means that we have to have that power if we so choose, if that’s a determination that the First Minister makes, that we have a referendum on independence in Scotland.”

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