Scottish Lib Dems members reject a motion to consider all options in the event of Brexit – including an independent Scotland
SCOTTISH Liberal Democrats delegates have rejected softening the party’s stance on independence after the issue was discussed at its autumn conference.
Party members rejected the motion to consider “all options” in keeping Scotland in the EU, including Scotland being independent.
The Scottish Lib Dems leader, Willie Rennie, said the party had restated its support for Scotland to remain part of the UK and the EU.
The North East Fife MSP said: “Today we rejected any suggestion we should consider independence. Our party reiterated our desire for Scotland to maintain its membership of both the United Kingdom and the European Union.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats fought the elections in May with an explicit commitment to opposing a second referendum on independence, under any circumstances. I will be keeping my word with the voters as will every other MSP who stood on that platform. In all circumstances, I said no and I mean no.”
“Scottish Liberal Democrats fought the elections in May with an explicit commitment to opposing a second referendum on independence” Willie Renne
Former Scottish Lib Dem Euro MP Elspeth Attwooll, who moved the motion, said it was not about support an independent Scotland, but giving the right to the Scottish people to determine their own futures.
She said: “We have to face a political reality. That before too long the people of Scotland may, whether actively or questionably, to make a choice of two different futures. Both in which, are fraud in dangers and difficulties.
“If so, when that time comes and only when that time comes, we need to be in a position with all the information available to us at that time to fight what we believe to be the least damaging alternative.
“This motion seeks and simply seeks to ensure that we are properly to do so.”
“If so, when that time comes and only when that time comes, we need to be in a position with all the information available to us at that time to fight what we believe to be the least damaging alternative.” Elspeth Attwooll
During the debate, delegates stated that by rejecting this motion Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie was right to withdraw from the Muscatelli process.
The motion called on the conference to “restore support for negotiations, by the Muscatelli group, and commit to exploring all options that may allow Scotland to retain the benefits of EU membership”.
Former Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid said: “When Nicola Sturgeon went into the expert group, with a wealth of European experience. The early signs were positive.
“But the SNP will explore options other than independence.
“Now it is clear that independence is the only goal and Willie was right to withdraw his support.”
Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton who spoke against the motion said that “without the trojan horse of the Muscastalli commission, it is but a thin veneer for Nicola Sturgeon ultimate goal”.
Cole Hamilton added that the people of Edinburgh Western felt that he was the best person to feint off the SNP and he feels that he could not trust the party if the motion was passed.
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