SNP MSP for Stirling Constituency, Bruce Crawford, and MP, Steven Paterson, have said that it is absolutely correct and appropriate for the people of Scotland to be offered a choice, once the options become clear, between a Tory hard Brexit and becoming an independent country, after the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed plans to seek parliamentary approval to begin discussions with the UK government to bring forward an independence vote.
Ahead of the UK government’s triggering of Article 50 and the beginning of the process of leaving the EU, the First Minister said that the Westminster government has been guilty of complete intransigence in the face of Scottish Government attempts to find a compromise – and has continually acted against the best interests of Scotland, not least by ruling out membership of the single market without consulting the Scottish Government.
Mr Crawford has said that it has become clear that the UK government has no intention of respecting Stirling Constituency’s 67.7% vote to remain in the EU.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bruce Crawford said:
“Throughout the entire Brexit process to date, the Scottish Government has been consistent in its pursuit of a compromise with the UK government, putting forward substantial proposals for Scotland to remain in the single market – yet the UK government has rejected these and is pursuing an ever harder line.
“It is within this context, with the UK government intent on pursuing a damaging hard Brexit and set to trigger Article 50 without communicating with the devolved governments, that it has become ever clearer that the people of Scotland must be offered a choice over our future.
“The SNP will always stand up for Scotland’s interests and we are intent on protecting Scotland’s place in the single market. The people of Scotland deserve to choose, once the terms of Brexit are clear and before it is too late to decide our own path, honouring the manifesto pledge that we were elected on last year.
“Scotland now stands at a crossroads, and we cannot drift along for two years hoping for the best. We face the real prospect of right-wing Tory governments until at least 2030 and being dragged out of the EU and Single Market with all the damage to our economy and society that will cause.”
Mr Paterson highlighted that the UK Government had so far failed to listen and budge to respect the wishes of the people of Scotland who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union last June.
Stirling MP Steven Paterson added:
“For all the rhetoric, the Prime Minister and her Government have failed to commit to a constructive approach that respects the will of the vast majority of Scots who voted in the EU Referendum. Time and time again, my Westminster SNP colleagues and I have called on Tory Ministers to back the Scottish Government’s plan to protect Scotland’s place in Europe and time and time again they give no commitment, pushing ahead with a Hard Tory Brexit that would see businesses across the Stirling area suffer.
“It is therefore only right that the Scottish people be given the choice when we have seen a blank cheque handed to the Prime Minister by Parliament, allowing her to take forward whatever type of Brexit deal she likes whilst offering no assurances to our local businesses, or indeed to EU nationals who live here and contribute so much to our communities. This is our future, and we must be the ones to decide it.”