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Scottish Labour leader told to follow Mark Drakeford in backing independence referendum

23 Jul 2022 2 minute read
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar. Photo Dominic Lipinski PA Images

Scottish Labour must follow their Welsh counterparts in backing an independence referendum, an SNP MSP has said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to hold a second referendum on October 19 next year.

A referendum bill has been referred to the UK Supreme Court to determine whether Holyrood has the power to put the question to Scots.

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader has previously criticised the push for a second vote – after a majority of Scots voted against independence in 2014.

But the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has now backed the Scottish Government’s calls for an independence referendum.

The SNP “won an election on the basis they would seek another referendum”, the Welsh Labour leader told BBC Radio 4 on Friday.

“How can that be denied to the Scottish people?”

Now Paul McLennan, SNP MSP for East Lothian, said Mr Sarwar was at odds with his Welsh counterpart by denying the mandate for a second independence referendum.

Democracy deniers

He said: “Respecting the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland should not be ground-breaking, but Mark Drakeford has set himself apart from democracy deniers Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer by recognising the cast-iron mandate delivered for a referendum.

“Anas Sarwar’s democracy-denying position has been laid bare once again by the Welsh First Minister.

“If Labour in Wales recognise the democratic will of the people of Scotland, why won’t Scottish Labour?”

He accused Mr Sarwar’s party of “standing side by side” with the Conservatives by refusing to back a referendum.

“There is no doubt at the mandate delivered for a referendum and the people of Scotland will have their say and the chance to escape the chaos of Westminster control and build a fairer, more equal independent country.”

Earlier this month, Mr Sarwar outlined a vision for enhanced devolution and co-operation between the UK and Scottish Governments as an alternative to independence.

Spin

Scottish Labour Constitution spokeswoman Sarah Boyack said: “Contrary to the SNP’s spin, most Scots don’t want a referendum next year.

“People want the Scottish Government to focus on tackling the cost-of-living crisis and saving our struggling NHS.

“While the SNP peddle division and empty promises, Scottish Labour are fighting to build a better future for Scotland using the powers we have right now.


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

You cannot preach democracy then refuse the will of the people. The SNP government were only recently given a mandate by the Scottish electorate to implement their manifesto. And yes Scottish Labour can disagree with independence, as they did with Brexit, but to flatly refuse the right to a second referenda citing “once in a generation vote” their reason while failing to accept the first vote was won on a lie thus null & void, hypocritical. They should back a second referendum, then campaign to convince Scots that remaining is the best way forward, although saying that would be problematic… Read more »

Popsie
4 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

In Wales, we too should have a second referendum on devolution.

South Wales
South Wales
4 months ago
Reply to  Popsie

Let’s reverse the lies of brexit first then Wales can be become an independent country and rejoin the EU.

Last edited 4 months ago by South Wales
Brian Clement
Brian Clement
4 months ago
Reply to  Popsie

We have had three already Popsie

Mark Hoffer
Mark Hoffer
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian Clement

Your point being?
We have General Elections every 4 or 5 years, do you think we should just have one, and then say no -one can vote again, we voted already?
Stupid comment of the day award goes to Brian Clement

George
George
4 months ago

“Earlier this month, Mr Sarwar outlined a vision for enhanced devolution and co-operation between the UK and Scottish Governments as an alternative to independence.” + “how if Scots voted no would remain in the EU, also reneged on Devo-Max, who are currently attacking Scottish & Welsh devolution.” = 2 key quotes on this page. There’s now a decent chance Labour will win in England (and thus UK) at next election, especially if Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister, but how much are they going to say about attacks on devolution recently? How much are they going to say about HS2 money… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  George

Yes, some interesting questions. What intrigues me in relation to the devolution and independence topics is what is happening in English Labour. To the best of my understanding (well placed Labour readers please correct me if I am wrong) a big chunk of Labour party members were behind Corbyn’s push for greater deocracy in the party. Lately a big chunk of the membership have voted in favour of electoral reform in the Conference. So my feeling is that the membership of the Labour party is behind the idea of more democracy and thus will be pro-devolution and support Scotland or… Read more »

Popsie
4 months ago

This is a concerted attempt by Labour (led by Drakeford) to break up the UK

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago
Reply to  Popsie

Wonderful isn’t it?

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago
Reply to  Popsie

Why you cannot see that the UK is already falling apart right now ?

The UK is the most centralised regime since the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Reform is long overdue here would you say?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

Adam Price, I think it is time the First Minister, the Economy Minister and the deputy Climate Change minister were asked to explain their policies to the people. Regardless of the deals you have done with them it is now the time for them to explain their actions and their rationale to the voters. Labour holds an unassailable position in the Senedd and I would hate to think they were abusing their power…as for explaining the social contract and how a welfare state operates in a democracy there must be a pamphlet that explains these things…

Dave
Dave
4 months ago

As I have said on this portal for years, dot the T’s and cross the I’s #Labour4Independence is real and if my Plaid friends are serious, back #WelshLabour

Wynford Jones
Wynford Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

“Welsh” Labour is is just a marketing strapline. You are either a deceiver or you have been deceived. UK Labour, which you are supporting and funding is totally opposed to independence. Does New Plaid Cymru believe you? Most of their MSs probably do? Will any part of Westminster including Labour Lords and MPs take you seriously? Their track record says “no”. Until we have a real party of Wales, of the people, prepared to co-ordinate civil disobedience if necessary, we will remain an irrelevance to your Party and other unionist entities. Dave, I see that you have been on this… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

I acknowledge there is a section of Labour in Wales who back independence, but Labour4indy have a long way to go yet, as does the party.

I will not switch my allegiance from Plaid to a party that (at the moment anyway) does not endorse Welsh independence.

Why would I? What incentive has Labour got to officially endorse independence if they are not scared of losing their votes to indy-supporting parties?

Why won’t Labour4indy work with Plaid to help change attitudes within their own party?

Last edited 4 months ago by SundanceKid
Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Why won’t Labour4indy work with Plaid to help change attitudes within their own party?

  • That is a very valid question.

Welsh Labour MUST become an independent Welsh based party.

Although Welsh Labour may still retain links to social democratic and socialist parties around the world, an independent Welsh Labour party must be sovereign only to Wales.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

-1 ?!!! you know not what you do…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

You could have replaced it with an apology…

Doctor Trousers
4 months ago

I can see Mark Drakeford turning pro-independence before I can see Scottish Labour budging an inch on this. In my experience, there’s no particular emotional attachment to the union in Wales. It’s a pragmatic, even a somewhat begrudging flavour of unionism. If there were an orange order in Wales, they probably wouldn’t be fans of Welsh Labour. Scottish Labour on the other hand, have orange councillors, and where Welsh Labour voluntarily share power with Plaid, Scottish Labour do deals with the tories to shut the SNP out. It may seem like electoral suicide for them to continue to deny the… Read more »

Dean Thomas
Dean Thomas
4 months ago

Hypocrisy is in the air. Mark Drakeford will lead us to independence and freedom in the same way that I will lead Wales out of the tunnel at the Qatar World Cup

Wynford Jones
Wynford Jones
4 months ago
Reply to  Dean Thomas

Labour and Tories are already turning us into a zombie nation!

Wynn
Wynn
4 months ago

The problem with Scottish Labour is that they are New Labour, the socialists left a long time ago. We don’t have a Labour party like you seem to have in Wales. There’s no Corbynistas up here. They are all Starmers.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago
Reply to  Wynn

Do we? I think they have found a third way down in the bay…their way…

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