SNP conference: FM must take independence off the table

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael today said that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon must use her party conference to take independence off the table and work with others to protect Scotland and the rest of the UK from the consequences of a hard Brexit.

Mr Carmichael warned that the failure of the First Minister to put the issue of Brexit first risks letting down people across the UK who recognise the importance of maintaining our European ties.

Commenting ahead of the start of SNP conference, Mr Carmichael said:

“A hard Brexit would be disastrous for our economy. It would diminish us in the eyes of the world and make us smaller and less secure. Working together across the UK we have a real opportunity to rein in the worst excesses of the Tory right. But the First Minister’s obsession with independence weakens efforts to protect the benefits of our place in the EU. She is running away from the hard work and risks letting Boris and his colleagues off the hook.

“The First Minister aspires to be a major player on the UK political scene. But her drive for a second independence poll is not only letting Scotland down. It is also letting down people in places like Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff who recognise the importance of maintaining our European ties.

“Brexit and a second independence referendum are set to be the hot topics for debate at the SNP conference. If the First Minister is serious about making progress on Europe then she needs to use this opportunity to listen to reason and say in no uncertain terms that independence is off the table.”

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