SHETLAND MSP Tavish Scott has criticised the SNP’s calls for a second vote on Scotland going it alone – claiming the last thing people want is a “never-ending independence referendum”.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon updated MSPs on Wednesday on her party’s vision for an independent Scotland by confirming the Scottish Government wants to hold a second referendum by 2021 if the country is taken out of the European Union (EU).
Scotland as a country voted to stay in the EU despite the UK as a whole voting for Brexit.
Sturgeon said “Brexit makes change for Scotland inevitable” and called on all Scottish parties to “come together and find areas of agreement as mature politicians should”.
“With all of our assets and talents, Scotland should be a thriving and driving force within Europe,” she added.
“Instead we face being forced to the margins – sidelined within a UK that is, itself, increasingly sidelined on the international stage. Independence, by contrast, would allow us to protect our place in Europe.”
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott, however, claimed people do not want a re-run of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, which saw 55 per cent of voters back staying in the UK.
Shetland voted 63.7 per cent in favour of staying in the union in the 2014 referendum.
“This statement is Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to manage her party at their annual gathering this weekend,” the Liberal Democrat said.
“It was not a serious statement about Scotland’s future.
“The last thing that people want is for the never-ending chaos of Brexit to be followed by a never-ending independence referendum.”
The Scottish Government wants to introduce a bill for the “rules and principles for any referendum” in the current parliamentary term, which runs through to 2021.
However, the UK Government – which needs to approve a referendum before it can be held – said it would not support a second vote.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said Nicola Sturgeon “continues to press for divisive constitutional change when it is clear that most people in Scotland do not want another independence referendum”.
“The UK Government will stand up for them,” the Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire added.