Labour leader dismisses independence as having no answers to the power of big business
JEREMY CORBYN has told Scottish Labour party members that a vote for Scottish independence would not tackle corporate power and improve working class people’s lives.
The UK Labour leader made the comments during a speech to the Scottish party conference today (Sunday 26 February) in which he outlined his support for a new federal UK.
His statement follows a weekend which has seen Scottish Labour’s attempt to promote its positions on federalism, health and education.
However, yesterday (Saturday 25 February) comments by London Labour mayor Sadiq Khan meant Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish leader, has spent most of the day dismissing accusations that Labour believes supporters of Scottish independence are racist.
“The collapse of oil prices showed how much of a folly that was and what a danger to Scotland’s prosperity independence would have been.” Jeremy Corbyn
He said: “Conference the SNP pretend independence will magically transform people’s lives.
“The collapse of oil prices showed how much of a folly that was and what a danger to Scotland’s prosperity independence would have been. The Tories claim they want to take back powers from Brussels and the SNP want to take power back from Westminster.
“But neither of them wants to take economic power back from multinationals and big business. Neither of them wants to tackle the power and stranglehold the market has over our economy and wider society.”
This was despite an announcement this year by Bob Dudley, the chief executive of BP, stating that the oil and gas industry in the North Sea has a “healthy future”.
Commenting on the Tories plans for a hard Brexit he added: “And instead of taking back powers to end the race to the bottom in job security … and invest in the economy of the future … the Tories want to use Brexit to create a deregulated bargain basement tax haven economy on the edge of Europe.”
“Conference the SNP pretend independence will magically transform people’s lives.” Jeremy Corbyn
Corbyn has come under pressure recently as a result of the result in the Copeland by-election which saw Labour lose the seat to the Tories for the first time since 1983. However, the Labour leader chose to focus on the win in Stoke against Ukip stating that although the party had a “tough time…now is not the time to retreat.”
He damned the SNP for “talking left on austerity but supporting it in government” and fully backed Kezia Dugdale’s plan for a people’s convention that would create a federal UK. This was underpinned by his statement that there was little that divided his constituency in Islington, London from the constituency of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s in Glasgow Govan.
Yesterday (Saturday 25 February) the Scottish Labour party unanimously confirmed that it would support a federal UK and people’s convention as formal party policy. Dugdale also confirmed Gordon Brown, former Labour chancellor and prime minister, would be part of a forum and online site to resist a second independence referendum.
“Mr Corbyn is in the same state of denial and delusion that his beleaguered Scottish Labour has shown this weekend.” Angus Robertson
Angus Robertson MP, leader of the SNP group of MPs at Westminster, responded saying: “Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear that he and his party are washing their hands of any attempt to listen to the overwhelming democratic will of the people of Scotland. That is grossly disrespecting the wishes of the Scottish electorate, and shows how deeply out of touch with Scottish opinion Labour have become.
“Mr Corbyn is in the same state of denial and delusion that his beleaguered Scottish Labour has shown this weekend. They want Scotland to give up the fight against the Tories on their disastrous hard Brexit and they are pushing for UK wide federalism – when there is absolutely no support for it in the Labour party across the UK, let alone among other sections of the UK electorate.”
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