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Labour will oppose second independence referendum even if Supreme Court deems it legal says Starmer

06 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer speaking at the Labour Regional Conference in Barnsley.

Labour will oppose a second Scottish independence referendum even if the Supreme Court deems one to be legal, party leader Keir Starmer has said.

The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether the Scottish Government can hold its own advisory referendum.

But in an interview with the BBC Sunday Show, Keir Starmer said that while it would settle the legal case the political case against Scottish independence would remain the same.

“It’s good the case has gone to court because I think it’s better to have legal certainty, so we all know the basis on which we’re operating,” he said.

“All the court is going to be able to rule is, if it does rule in favour, is that there could or can be, [that] it’s legally permissible to have a referendum.

“That doesn’t answer the political question, which is ‘should there be a referendum’? So my argument remains the same.”

He added however that the Union remained a “voluntary” organisation that Scots are “not stuck in”.

“I fundamentally reject the argument that the way you grow the economy is to put a border between Scotland and England,” he said.

“I don’t think that will help us grow the economy. I think it will make a bad situation worse.

“I really don’t think that everyone across Scotland is completely immune from the cost of living, isn’t bothered about their bills, doesn’t worry about their shopping, doesn’t worry about their mortgage – they’re simply thinking about independence. I just don’t accept that.”

‘Pander’

The SNP have responded to Keir Starmer by accusing Labour of siding with the Conservative party in blocking Scottish democracy.

“His denial of Scottish democracy is straight out of the same Tory playbook used by Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak,” SNP Deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald MP said.

“It is not for any Westminster politician to decide Scotland’s future – it is solely a matter for the people who live here. And the people have already decided that they want another referendum.

“The evidence is clear, Brexit means the UK economic crisis is here to stay. It’s the single biggest ongoing threat to our economy and a root cause of the soaring cost of living. And it is also hammering our NHS.

“Keir Starmer is pretending otherwise and blindly backing Brexit whatever the cost as he panders to pro-Brexit voters in England. But that simply won’t wash in Scotland, where more than seven in 10 Scots support Scotland returning to the EU.”


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Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
1 month ago

Just as well in opposition Unionist Labour are a toothless tiger.
they keep trotting out that this is a “voluntary” Union but again and again and again, Unionist Tories and Unionist Labour in Englandland “refuse” the Scots their right to a referendum.
Where is the “voluntary” part again?
As if I needed one, this is the reason I shall be voting only Plaid going forward. Whatever it’s flaws, it’s better than any of the other choices.

David Zenati-Parsons
David Zenati-Parsons
1 month ago

Try reading Starmer’s words subjectively, he said he would oppose the vote, not that he would block it as is currently happening. He said that he thinks it is a bad idea economically yet so is Brexit and he “wants to make Brexit work”, that is the line of attack.

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago

So much for Democracy starmers right wing plp opposing the will of the Scottish people typical Blairite the labour plp members were in Scotland opposing independence in 2014 telling people they’d lose their pensions which is nonsense how desperate these people are .

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

So, he would oppose a democratic vote even if the referendum is judged to be legal by the Supreme Court?

Doesn’t exactly bode well for those who claim Labour is Wales’ best route to an independent Wales, does it?

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago

Tone deaf middle class English white cis male opposes democracy 😒 This is news Nation.Cymru? Since when! !? 🙄😴

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

OK so the union is voluntary so long as we all do what London says. Sounds like an occupation to me. As for Labour they are doing and saying exactly what we all knew they’d do. Time for a genuinely autonomous ‘Welsh” Labour wouldn’ t you say?

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

When will independence supporting Labour voters wake up?

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago

It strikes me that Mr Starmer is a litle confused. He is conflating the two issues of the current Tory cost of living crisis with the need for the Scottish People to become responsible for their own country. Admittedly, the emergence of the two separate issues is down to the same basic cause – Tory policies, but stopping Independence will not solve the Cost of Living Crisis.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
26 days ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

He is not confused (yes, I know you know, but). He is as Ramsey Macdonald, Keir Hardy et al were. They are gravy trainers all. Welsh Labour members (not the MP’s) must make a new party, Social Democratic party of Cymru?

Last edited 26 days ago by I.Humphrys
Steve Woods
Steve Woods
1 month ago

Yes, Keir: the union is voluntary and the constituent parts of the English Empire are free to do as they are told by Westminster and Whitehall.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve Woods

An English Empire, now with a 50 billion hole in it.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago

Every nation has the right to decide its own future. That future should be decided by the peoples of that nation. This applies to Wales, Scotland, Ireland as well as the Ukraine. It is the not the decision of one country to tell another country whether it should be independent or how to run its internal affairs. Wales, Scotland or Ireland must not be subjected to Imperialism. The UK Labour leader must never play the UK Tory game for that is being a Putin. If that is all UK labour can say, then Welsh Labour should distance itself from it.… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago

Too true. Just had another thought that should have popped up earlier. The comment about erecting a border between England and Scotland is even dafter than I realised. If Scotland becomes independent and joins the Single Market as they surely will, and England get a sensible government that also joins the Single Market, there will be no need for a border. That is why all four nations rejoining the Single Market makes such sense.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
26 days ago

The UN? Pu*in?
Did you notice that the UK voted against Russia’s anti N*zi motion at the U.N., which 150 other nations supported? (clue: Uk**ine).

Dr Keith Darlington
Dr Keith Darlington
26 days ago

Typical Starmer. Oppose anything he sees as being disadvantageous to his chances of power.

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