Liberal Democrat youth activist changes mind to back Scottish independence at party conference


LibDem youth Chris Wilson tells party leadership he now backs independence 

THE CROSS-PARTY movement for independence grew one voice stronger after youth activist Christopher Wilson stole the show at the Liberal Democrat conference with a speech explaining his new support for Scottish self-determination in Europe.

Wilson, who opposed independence before Brexit, said it was the Brexit result coupled with the growth in nasty xenophobia in Westminster politics that has caused a change in his view. 

He said: “On independence, I was a No supporter in 2014 but then I saw what happened last year. I changed my mind. Although I did love the UK I have witnessed a sharp right-turn in people’s views, talking about our friends, our teachers, our colleagues, our doctors like they are aliens with a vicious plot to destroy our country.

“I don’t want to live in an intolerant UK overrun by right-wing populists. I want Scotland to be a member of a progressive, outward looking continent with our friends in the European Union.”

In September Liberal Democrat activists, in a group called ‘Liberal Scotland in Europe’, proposed that the party should be “open minded” and support “exploring all options and ruling nothing out until the terms of Brexit are known”. However, this was then amended to rule out independence after vocal opposition from the party’s hierarchy. 

Read more – Scottish LibDem activists call on leadership to keep constitutional options open 

The political shifts since the independence referendum – which has seen the first Tory majority since 1992 elected and a vote in England and Wales to exit the EU – led to more Labour party figures backing independence too. 

Simon Pia, John Home Robertson, Henry McLeish, Malcolm Chisholm, Eric Joyce, Martin Brown and David Martin MEP have said they now support or are open to supporting Scottish independence following the Brexit vote. 

The two most recent polls on independence has put support at 50 and 48 per cent, as Tory prime minister Theresa May is set to begin a hard exit from the European Union. 

Picture courtesy of BBC Democracy Live

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