Thursday, 07 November 2019 10:12

MICHAEL RUSSELL – PARLIAMENT MUST BACK REFERENDUM TO MAINTAIN DEMOCRATIC GOLD STANDARD

Michael Russell has urged MSPs to back the general principles of the Referendums Bill today so that  Scotland maintains the ‘gold standard’ of democratic engagement.

The Constitutional Relations Secretary was speaking after a campaign visit to Edinburgh West ahead of Stage One of the Referendums (Scotland) Bill this afternoon (Thursday).

He said that the Bill should ensure the kind of rule-breaking that occurred in Westminster’s 2016 Brexit referendum would not happen in Scotland.

Commenting, Michael Russell said:

“Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s – and at this election by voting SNP the people of Scotland can escape Brexit and choose a better future with independence.

“The decision on whether to offer that choice should be made by the Scottish Parliament  - not Westminster.

“Today MSPs have the opportunity to back the general principles of a bill that will set the rules for referendum voting and campaigning.   

“In the 2016 Brexit vote, people in Scotland decided overwhelmingly to remain but we’ve been subject to three years of Brexit chaos with many more if the Tories get their way. That 2016 referendum was also marred by rule-breaking.

“Today I will set out how the bill before the Scottish Parliament will prevent rule-breaking and maintain the democratic gold standard.

“There is a cast-iron mandate to hold a referendum on whether to become an independent country and there should be no attempt by Westminster to veto the right of people in Scotland to decide their own future.” 

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