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Debate on independence stops if SNP loses next election, says party MP

07 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Scottish flag. Photo by M W from Pixabay

The debate on independence will stop if the SNP lose the general election in Scotland, one of the party’s MPs has said.

The party has said it will put the issue at the heart of its manifesto, agreeing at its conference that a majority of MPs north of the border after the next vote will be a mandate to give “democratic effect” to Scottish independence.

But writing in the Sunday National, senior MP Tommy Sheppard urged Scots not to abandon the party in favour of Labour to ensure the Tories lose.

Westminster majority

Sir Keir Starmer’s party, he wrote, has already won the vote and will take Downing Street following the election, but the SNP losing its Westminster majority in Scotland would dash the hopes of independence.

“We need to be very clear with the electorate, this year’s vote is about whether the journey continues, whether we can create circumstances to move towards our independence,” he wrote.

“And with a corrupt first-past-the-post system, the only way to do that is to vote SNP.”

Mr Sheppard added: “If the SNP lose the election in Scotland, the debate on independence stops.

“That is why we must put aside our differences and unite.”

Unity

His call for unity could be seen as an attempt to ward off any traditional independence supporters from supporting other such parties, most notably the Alex Salmond-led Alba Party.

The MP, who was first elected in the SNP surge of 2015, said a win for the party would allow them to “press that mandate” against an incoming UK government, adding that anyone “who believes Scotland should become independent, or even that we should have the choice to do so, ought to vote SNP”.

According to Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Donald Cameron, the debate on independence should have stopped after the 2014 referendum.

“Tommy Sheppard is just trying desperately to find some excuse for people to back the SNP, a party which has been a disaster in government and, as usual, is focusing on separatism, rather than people’s real priorities,” he said.

“The Scottish Conservatives have provided the only robust opposition to the SNP’s divisive agenda and, in many seats, are the only way to get them out of office.”


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Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago

The SNP is an unstoppable force.

David
David
1 month ago

The SNP have had a mandate since the referundum but have not sought other means to gain independence apart from begging to the parliament in England to hold a referundum.

Che Guevara's Fist
Che Guevara's Fist
1 month ago
Reply to  David

That’s because legal powers to hold referendums are held in Westminster, not Holyrood or Cardiff Bay. A checkmate condition coming from the Acts of Union which were always designed to forever go in England’s favour, always. Westminster will only ever grant permission for an independence referendum if it is sure the union vote wins out, and never grant one if there is any doubt. Ireland never became a republic because of peaceful means, by the way. Most countries throughout history never gained their independence simply by asking their occupiers for permission, with few exceptions such as the Soviet Union. But… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

This is likely to be a difficult year for independence movements. The objective for many will be to make sure the dreadful Tories are booted out. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of tactical voting. I’m sure Labour will gain power but will not look at Plaid or the SNP any differently to the Conservatives – a Westminster establishment attitude, it’s inbred. So in the long term self determination for Cymru and Scotland will come to be as soon as this is fully realised.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

I cannot understand how we have more Tiry MP’s than Plaid. The message is being lost but why?

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

I think we need to be particularly careful in Cymru. Obviously we need to vote out the useless Tory MPs but we risk indecision over whether to vote Labour or Plaid. That could let the Tories slip back in under the FPTP trap. I think we need to be particularly strategic in our choices and vote for the best positioned non-Tory. One of the problems is Labour (England)’s unwillingness to stand down candidates. Hopefully, voters will appreciate the need to be strategic rather than tribal in their voting this time.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Another problem is Plaid is seen by some as the party of Cymraeg speakers and middle class nationalists.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago

If you wish to be a free and independent country you will only get independence from a party committed to independence. Voting Labour in a constituency already with a Plaid Cymru or SNP MP will not remove the Tories any nearer. Neither will it help if labour campaigns against SNP or Plaid Cymru in seats that SNP or Plaid Cymru can more likely take from the Tories. If Labour are serious to winning the next general election, it should its 100% commitment to taking seats from the Tories in England. Yes, in places such as Essex, Kent and the East… Read more »

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago

That is an easy way to put the electorates back up by taking away democratic choice.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
1 month ago

I’ve never understood why a potentially great country like Scotland with its natural resources well established institutions would want to remain tied to another country – which typically holds different political views.

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