Stephen Kinnock: “democratic argument” for second independence referendum

Stephen Kinnock. Picture:  Benedikt Loebell
Stephen Kinnock. Picture: Benedikt Loebell
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Labour’s Stephen Kinnock says he can see the “democratic argument” for a second Scottish independence referendum.

The Aberavon MP said that he could “understand” why the SNP was pushing for a second vote in light of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union but argued the economics of independence did not make sense.

Scotland voted 62% per cent in favour of remaining in the European Union in June along with Northern Ireland with England and Wales both voting to leave.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said repeatedly that the result makes another referendum on Scotland’s independence “extremely likely”.

He told PoliticsHome: “I think the problem that the SNP has is that Scottish economy, due to their failures and their incompetence in Scotland, the Scottish economy is in trouble. They have a budget deficit that is substantially larger than that of Greece, you’ve got oil at $50 a barrel, so the economic case for independence is very flimsy at best and non-existent really.

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“But there is a democratic argument which I can absolutely understand…. Scotland voted to stay inside the EU and if they see themselves being bulldozed into a Brexit that they don’t want, which they feel is going to harm their country, I can understand where they are coming from with that. So I think it’s a mixed picture with Scotland.”

Mr Kinnock said he did not back the economic case for Scottish independence.

He said: “The Scottish case for independence, economically, is desperately flimsy and for us it’s non-existent. But the Welsh people don’t [want] independence, but I think if Wales had voted to remain, that certainly would have given the argument slightly different complexion, the argument that we’re having now.”

Nicola Sturgeon met with Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday along with the leaders of the other home nations.

The SNP leader said there had been a “frank exchange of views”, with the Prime Minister repeatedly told she did not have a mandate for a hard Brexit. The Scottish First Minister also restated her threat to call a second independence referendum in response to the proposed settlement with the EU, insisting she was not “bluffing or game-playing”.

The Scottish Government have embarked on a consultation ahead of a bill on a second independence referendum to be presented before the Scottish Parliament.

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