Challenge to new indy vote
Haughey urged to dismiss poll
Rutherglen’s Liberal Democrat candidate has challenged his SNP opponent to make a personal commitment to rule out supporting another independence referendum for at least the term of the next Scottish Parliament.
Robert Brown said the issue was creating “unnecessary doubt and uncertainty” and was creating upset for local people.
Calling on Clare Haughey to rule out another vote, he said the prospect of a second referendum so soon after the first was a “democratic absurdity”.
He said: “My very strong view is that it is time to move on to deal with the backlog of problems left by the SNP government – the crisis in GP numbers, the 152,000 cut in places at Scotland’s colleges and the falling standards in Scotland’s schools.
“The SNP seem to have been frozen to the spot on these matters – the Scottish Parliament has fresh, new tax powers but they refuse to use them.
“They should be joining the Liberal Democrats in aiming to invest in transformation change in education.
“Clare Haughey could help here by making a personal commitment that, if she was elected, she would not back another referendum during the term of the new Scottish Parliament. The fouryear term of the parliament is hardly the ‘decision for a generation’ promised by the SNP but it would be a helpful step.”
However, Ms Haughey said it was those who opposed another referendum who were “undemocratic”.
Hitting back, she said: “I accept the result of the referendum, and acknowledge that there should only be another one if there is clear and sustained evidence that a majority of people support independence.
“It is not in the gift of any politician to refuse a referendum if there is a demand. What Robert Brown is proposing is thoroughly undemocratic.
“The SNP are moving forward with our progressive and ambitious plan for Scotland, something Mr Brown’s party seem to lack.
“People haven’t forgotten that the Lib Dems betrayed people over tuition fees, or that they only managed to build six council houses in Scotland during their last term in coalition with Labour at Holyrood.
“It’s no wonder the Lib Dem candidate for the area lost his deposit in last year’s general election.”