Vote stunt to aid case for independence
THE SNP will use a grandstanding vote on Brexit this week to bolster the case for independence.
Four parties have backed a motion to be debated in Holyrood, opposing Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.
It will have no impact on the actual vote at Westminster next week, which could decide the terms on which the UK leaves the EU.
But if that passes, Nicola Sturgeon will use the Holyrood motion to ‘strengthen the case’ for independence.
Last night, the Tories accused Scottish Labour and the Scottish Lib Dems, who have backed the Holyrood motion, of being ‘Nicola’s little helpers’. The motion argues that the Prime Minister’s proposals ‘would be damaging for Scotland and the nations and regions of the UK as a whole, and therefore recommends that they be rejected and that a better alternative be taken forward’. It is almost certain that the motion will be passed by MSPs.
The Scottish parliament had previously voted against the Withdrawal Bill, the UK legislation for transferring powers from Brussels to Westminster and Holyrood. Neither that vote, nor the one to take place on Wednesday, is binding. But the SNP will use them to stoke up grievance in its bid for a second vote on independence.
Ms Sturgeon has said she will make a decision on such a referendum once the terms of Brexit are clearer.
Scottish Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: ‘Right from the morning after the Brexit vote, the SNP has sought to use the vote in their relentless push for a second referendum on independence. Two years on, they are still at it.
‘Richard Leonard [Scottish Labour leader] and Willie Rennie [Scottish Lib Dem leader] could easily have chosen to make their own case, without siding with the SNP. Instead they are acting as Nicola’s little helpers.’