Rennie: SNP playing low politics for narrow gain

Speaking in this afternoon's debate on whether there should be a second independence referendum, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: 

"I want to address the issue of this cast iron mandate. For the SNP their mandate for another referendum is based on the European Union.  But now the SNP tell us they will not seek or guarantee membership of the European Union with their referendum.

"They will use the EU to get a referendum even though their referendum won’t get the EU. And we know the reason why.  They are cynically courting the one in three independence supporters who backed Brexit.  So they will use pro Europeans to get a referendum but sell them out to win independence. It is low politics for narrow gain.

"And then we have the Greens. It seems like from a different time but we recall their budget triumph where they secured funds that were going to be spent anyway and not a penny for the environment. Far from being a bold green budget it was a bland shade of beige. That was the first broken promise this year.

"Now we have the verbal gymnastics of Patrick Harvie arguing that manifesto commitments don’t count anymore. What happened to this participative democracy? What happened to the million names of a petition? Where is the role of the people in deciding whether to have another referendum? Patrick Harvie’s idea of participative democracy is a few green members gathering on a wet Saturday afternoon in Perth to airbrush a manifesto commitment.

"In just three months two manifesto commitments blown out of the water.  The Scottish people will remember Patrick Harvie and his excuses.

"Alex Salmond said the referendum in 2014 was a once in a lifetime opportunity. At the weekend he denied he ever said it. Despite it being on the record.  We have it on YouTube. Then he denied he denied it despite that being on YouTube too. Then he dismissed the whole this as nonsense anyway. It was the fastest denial about a denial about a broken promise ever known.

"‘How long is forever?’ said Alice. ‘Sometimes, just one second,’ said the White Rabbit. ‘Time is a relative concept, especially in Wonderland.’ Or, indeed, in Scotland.

"The Liberal Democrats stated clearly in our manifesto that we would oppose another divisive independence referendum and that is exactly what we will do."

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