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Indyref2 inevitable if our Brexit needs ignored – MP

Wesminster SNP MP Tommy Sheppard
Wesminster SNP MP Tommy Sheppard

A second independence referendum is inevitable if the UK Government does not take Scotland’s needs into account over Brexit, an SNP MP has suggested at Westminster.

The warning came from Tommy Sheppard as MPs debated two rival petitions over whether Scots should have another chance to consider leaving the UK.

The Edinburgh East MP said Brexit meant there were only two options left available, with the first being the UK Government listening to Scotland’s needs and gaining agreement from Holyrood over Brexit.

Should the UK Government “steamroller” ahead with its current version of Brexit against the wishes of the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, then a fresh vote would happen, the party’s Westminster Cabinet Office spokesman said.

He said: “The other option is that the UK Government will ignore the representations of Scotland, and it will overrule them, and proceed regardless.

“In those latter circumstances, I tell you here today that the mandate from 2016 is still there, and it will be executed, because we will give the people of Scotland a right to decide whether they want to have the isolationist economic chaos that Brexit represents, or whether they want to revisit the decision taken in 2014, and this time decide that they would be better off taking matters into their own hands and taking back control to Scotland.”

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie, Conservative, said the only way to ensure a second independence referendum would not be held was to not vote SNP.

“Independence is their raison d’etre and I respect that,” he said. “It never really went away and it never will go away.”

And Scottish Secretary David Mundell said Mr Sheppard’s statement should be taken as a warning.

“Scotland beware,” he said. “In the view of the SNP, independence is simply paused. It is not over, it is not stopped, it is simply paused.

“Every vote ever cast for the SNP will be taken as a vote for another independence referendum and as support for independence.”

Conservative Moray MP Douglas Ross said he believed most people in north-east Scotland did not want another referendum.

He said: “People were encouraged to get involved but they did so in the clear knowledge it was a once in a generation, even once in a lifetime occasion.

“I have been incredibly disappointed with the ongoing campaign by the SNP despite the conclusive result of 2014.”

And Lib Dem MP for Caithness Jamie Stone said he had been abused during the first independence referendum campaign and did not want a return to the divisive atmosphere.

“I was called a traitor,” he said. “We have to heal these divisions and put them behind us.”

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