Number two to Dugdale states change in context would permit vote
THE Deputy leader of Scottish Labour, Alex Rowley, has said that the SNP has a right to demand a second referendum given the context of the UK leaving the EU.
Quoted in the Sun, he also called for a federal-style Holyrood with greater powers, saying that a UK political system as it is now, constituted outside the EU, was neither “sustainable or effective”.
Deputy to Kezia Dugdale, Rowley claimed that the current political situation in the UK had changed and a fresh ballot would a “very different proposition” because of Brexit.
"My response is that I would not oppose such a referendum." Alex Rowley
He added: “We do not know at this point what a UK out of Europe will look like. I have lost count of the number of people that have asked whether I support a second referendum on independence.
“My response is that I would not oppose such a referendum.”
Rowley pointed to the “significant and material change” in the circumstances outlined by the SNP in its manifesto, stating that these changes had been met because Scotland was being “taken out of the EU against our will”.
Rowley went on to say that being denied access to the single market would be detrimental to the prospects of jobs and working people in Scotland.
“The fact is that the UK which Scotland voted to stay part of two years ago simply doesn’t exist anymore in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.” Linda Fabiani
However, he said it should not be forgotten that trade with the UK was “four times as large as that with the rest of Europe”.
The comments compound a difference in view between the two leading figures in Scottish Labour. On 24 June 24, Dugdale ruled out the prospect of her party supporting a second independence referendum.
The SNP, in response, welcomed the comments from Rowley, stating that the first minister has been clear that as the Scottish Government seeks to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, “all options are on the table – including the possibility of holding another independence referendum”.
"Alex Rowley is also absolutely right to point out that any such referendum would be a completely different prospect from the 2014 referendum." Linda Fabiani
SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: “These are welcome comments from Scottish Labour’s deputy leader – making clear that the Scottish Parliament has the right to hold an independence referendum if it becomes clear this is the best or only way to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, and that he would not oppose such a referendum.
“Alex Rowley is also absolutely right to point out that any such referendum would be a completely different prospect from the 2014 referendum – the fact is that the UK which Scotland voted to stay part of two years ago simply doesn’t exist anymore in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”
Picture courtesy of Stuart Crawford
Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.