Tuesday, 11 June 2019 16:40



The SNP has welcomed comments by Andrea Leadsom MP that it would be “disrespectful” to rule out a Scottish independence referendum.

Asked about a referendum at the Press Gallery lunch, the Tory leadership candidate said “all of these things would be up for negotiation, I do believe in sovereignty… The reason I say never say never is because… I'm a big believer in devolution and so what I just want to say is I am not going to stand here and utterly rule it out because I think that that is disrespectful.”

A new poll by Survation, published today, found that 58% of people in Scotland believe the Scottish Government should decide whether there should be an independence referendum. 62% said the Scottish Government should determine the question asked, and 58% believed it should determine the timing of a referendum.

The SNP was elected in 2016 on a manifesto commitment to hold an independence referendum "if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will", winning 46.5% of the vote – the biggest vote share of any party in the history of devolution, and any party in the UK since 1966. The Scottish Parliament has cemented the mandate by voting to hold an independence referendum.

Scottish Tory Leader, Ruth Davidson has previously said the UK government should not block an independence referendum, telling BBC Sunday Politics Scotland: “I have never said it should be denied…Constitutionally the UK Government shouldn't block it, no."

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:

“The Scottish Parliament has voted to hold an independence referendum. Andrea Leadsom is right to recognise that it would be deeply disrespectful for Westminster to rule it out - it would be a democratic outrage for the Tories to stand in the way of democracy.

"Even Ruth Davidson used to believe that the UK government should not block an independence referendum.

“Scotland has been ignored throughout the Brexit process. We now face being dragged out of the EU against our will – inflicting serious and lasting damage to Scottish jobs, living standards, public services and the economy.

“The people of Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the one being offered by Westminster. Scotland can choose to become an independent European nation – and that choice must be ours to make.

“The SNP government was elected on a manifesto to hold a referendum – winning the highest share of the vote in the history of devolution, and of any UK governing party since the 1960s. The sovereignty of the Scottish people cannot be overruled by Tory politicians at Westminster.

“Any pretence that Scotland will ever be treated as an equal partner in the UK has long gone. It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect our interests is with independence.”

Andrea Leadsom would ‘never say never’ to second Scottish independence referendum - https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/andrea-leadsom-would-never-say-never-to-second-scottish-independence-referendum-1-4945316

Clear majority for Scottish referendum decisions in Scotland - https://www.progressscotland.org/research/clear-majority-for-scottish-referendum-decisions-in-scotland

Ruth Davidson's positions on an independence referendum:

On a second independence referendum Ruth Davidson is on record saying it shouldn’t be blocked: “I have never said it should be denied…Constitutionally the UK Government shouldn't block it, no." Ruth Davidson, BBC Sunday Politics Scotland on 3 July 2016

'Second Indyref should not be blocked, says Ruth Davidson' - https://www.scotsman.com/news-2-15012/second-indyref-should-not-be-blocked-says-ruth-davidson-1-4168211

In the Guardian, 15 June 2015 Ruth Davidson said she wouldn’t oppose a second referendum if it was in the SNP’s manifesto:  

“If the SNP puts in its manifesto that it has an intention to hold a second referendum, & if it wins an outright majority, I think it does have a mandate to hold one... I actually don’t think, in the longer term, Westminster saying ‘No you cannae’ will play well in Scotland, & I think that it would damage the unionist cause.”


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