Thursday, 01 September 2016 17:00

SNP welcome EU Referendum report

Written by

ERS PRAISE “VIBRANT, WELL-INFORMED” SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

The Scottish National Party has welcomed a new report by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) that calls for major lessons to be learnt from the UK government’s disastrous EU referendum.

The report on the conduct of the EU referendum, published today (Thursday), criticises the UK government for failing to emulate the gold standard of the Scottish Independence referendum, and for choosing to ignore the legitimate concerns raised in advance of the EU referendum by the SNP and others.

In advance of the report’s publication, ERS Chief Executive Katie Ghose described the conduct of the EU referendum as “dire” with “glaring democratic deficiencies”, which she says marked “a stark contrast to the vibrant, well-informed, grassroots conversation of the Scottish independence vote – a referendum that left a lasting legacy of on-going public participation in politics and public life.”

Commenting Stephen Gethins MP, the SNP Europe Spokesperson, said:

“The SNP welcomes this report which highlights the serious democratic deficiencies of the EU referendum – concerns that we raised repeatedly before and during the campaign but which the UK government chose to ignore.

“As the ERS point out, the UK government failed to emulate the gold standard of the Scottish Independence referendum – opposing our calls for a longer campaign period that would have allowed a more informed debate, denying 16 and 17 year olds a vote on their future, holding the referendum too close to the devolved elections, and failing to reach out to the pubic or provide adequate information; leaving many people feeling isolated from the political process and unsure of how to vote.

“The campaign itself was a deeply depressing exercise in negative campaigning, fear-mongering and misinformation. We warned that a top-down lecturing approach would not encourage people to get involved in the debate, and that running a negative project fear campaign would turn people off rather than inspire them to vote to remain in the EU.

“In Scotland the SNP made a strong, positive and progressive case for remaining in the EU that resulted in an overwhelming vote in favour. We emphasised the benefits to the economy, the importance of workers’ rights, social protections, freedom of movement, and the necessity for close collaboration with our EU partners on international issues including climate change, the refugee crisis, global poverty, and security.

“The deficiencies of the EU referendum and the UK government's failure to make an inspiring case to remain in the EU have had disastrous consequences for us all – threatening to drag Scotland out of the EU against our will, and causing huge damage, instability and uncertainty for the economy and society. The SNP’s priority now is to protect Scotland’s relationship with Europe in line with the clear wishes of the Scottish people.”

Notes:

The Electoral Reform Society report can be found at: http://goo.gl/8seoPO  and the ERS press contact is Josiah Mortimer - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07717211630.

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