Thursday, 13 June 2019 09:41



Ruth Davidson is “directly contradicting herself” and “making it up as she goes along” over a referendum mandate and putting herself on the wrong side of public opinion, Keith Brown has said. 

The Tory leader yesterday claimed that the SNP needed to win an outright majority of MSPs to hold an independence referendum.

However, Ms Davidson previously argued that a majority of pro-independence MSPs would justify a referendum – and argued in 2015 that the UK government should not block a new referendum. 

A majority of MSPs support holding an independence referendum, with the SNP holding a clear and specific mandate from the 2016 election – where the party’s manifesto said that Brexit would justify holding a public vote.

A Survation poll published this week showed that 58% of Scots believe the Scottish Government should have the final say over holding a referendum. 

Commenting, SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said:

“Ruth Davidson’s position is now completely incoherent – she is making it up as she goes along and directly contradicting herself, putting the Tories on the wrong side of public opinion. 

“If the Tories want to compare mandates then let’s go ahead. Ruth Davidson’s party got under 12 per cent of the vote last time Scotland went to the polls – yet she has the arrogance to pretend that she can lay down the law.  

“A majority of MSPs support holding an independence referendum, and a clear majority of Scots believe it should be for Holyrood to decide, not Westminster. 

“Ruth Davidson’s stance is fundamentally anti-democratic, and she wants to gerrymander our constitution – saying that a vote for a referendum only counts if it’s cast by a politician in an SNP rosette.  That is not how parliamentary democracy works, and she knows it. 

“It is also a staggeringly hypocritical position considering the Tories are only in government through a stitch-up with the DUP – and slumped to fifth place across the UK in the European election. 

“It’s entirely undemocratic for any politician to try and stand in the way of Scotland determining our own future – as Ruth Davidson herself used to admit. 

“Trying to block a democratic mandate is utterly indefensible, and will ultimately prove to be untenable – the bottom line is the Tories are panicking as they run scared of a referendum they fear they will lose.”   

“You don’t get a referendum for free, you have to earn it. So if the Greens and the SNP – and the SSP or any of the other parties who’ve declared an interest in independence – get over the line and can make a coalition, make a majority, get the votes in the Parliament, then they’ll vote through a referendum, and that’s what democracy’s all about… it’s perfectly simple”
BBC Election Night Programme, 6 May 2011

“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.”
Guardian, 15 June 2015

"I have never said it should be denied… Constitutionally the UK Government shouldn't block it, no."
Telegraph, 3 July 2016

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