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Will of Scottish people should not be ‘thwarted’ by UK government – Swinney

23 Jun 2024 2 minute read
First Minister of Scotland John Swinney. Photo  Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The will of the Scottish people on independence should not be “thwarted” by the UK government if the SNP wins a majority of seats, Scotland’s First Minister has said.

At his party’s manifesto launch, John Swinney said the SNP winning a majority of Scottish seats on July 4 will see him seek negotiations with Westminster on another referendum.

But during a visit to Scotland this week, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he would not engage in such talks if he becomes prime minister.

‘Voluntary union’

Speaking to LBC on Sunday, Mr Swinney said: “Keir Starmer accepts that the United Kingdom is a voluntary union, it is a bringing together of the countries of the United Kingdom, in which Scotland is entitled to exercise our right to say ‘well, actually, we want to be governed differently as a consequence of our votes’.

“That should not be thwarted by the actions of the United Kingdom government.”

On the BBC’s Sunday Show, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar reiterated his view that it is “for the Scottish people” to decide on independence and that another referendum would require support for separation to become the “settled will” of the people.

But Mr Sarwar – much like other politicians on both sides of the constitutional divide – refused to say what support would be required or how it could be quantified.

He added: “We’ve been really clear in this election campaign. I don’t support independence, I don’t support a referendum, there isn’t a consistent majority for independence, there isn’t a majority for a referendum.”


Meanwhile, Mr Swinney was also asked what he will view as a success for his party in the election.

He told LBC: “Becoming the largest party in Scotland, that would be my objective in this election. And that would be the largest party in terms of seats.”

It is understood the First Minister’s comments should not be taken as a shift in the SNP’s position on beginning independence negotiations.

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Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
22 days ago

See how Scotland issues are noticed in this general election. See how Scottish issues are being addressed. The power that Scotland has with a SNP government standing up for Scottish interests. Why is Wales ignored? Why does Wales and Welsh issues not even feature? It is because we still are stuck with a party with bosses in England. Labour just treat us with contempt as long as some of the Welsh electorate still vote for them and give them the majority of seats so they are just continue to pursue their own interests for power in England. Make your vote… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
22 days ago

It is interesting really how the narrow margined and widely corrupted Brexit vote (See also: gets treated as “the Will of the People” and unchageable while the SNP’s sweeping majority at the previous election on the manifesto promise of Indepence seems not to count. Clearly the London based politicians are all still Colonialists at heart. It will be interesting to see how they treat the “Will of the People” this time if the SNP win the majority of the Scottish seats in the General Election.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
22 days ago

I don’t think the SNP will win the majority of seats on July 4th. A combination of recent SNP troubles and the national desire to give the Tories a really hard kicking will see to that. It’ll put the independence push to the rear, for a while. However, it’ll give both the Scottish and Welsh independence movements time to reflect, get their acts together and maybe even work together. Why not, after all both organisations want the same goal.

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