Stop another divisive and damaging independence referendum

By Willie Rennie Dec 10, 2019 7

Part Two of our Plan for the Future


The Liberal Democrats will stop another divisive and damaging independence referendum


Only the Liberal Democrats are clear that we want Scotland in the UK and in the EU. We stand with the majority in Scotland who wanted both those things in the two referendums.

Liberal Democrats will stop another independence referendum in Scotland, and stop the division, chaos, new borders and economic cost that independence would cause.


We need to learn the lessons of Brexit, not repeat the mistakes with independence. Cutting ties with our closest neighbours is a backwards and isolating move – that’s been the lesson of the past three years. Independence would bring all the chaos and distraction of Brexit, but multiply it.


Our ties with Europe and deep and valuable. Our ties with the UK are even deeper and even more valuable. Cutting ties with Europe after 40 years is torture. Imagine the pain of breaking 300-year-old ties. Just like Brexit, it would be the vulnerable who would suffer the most.


The last thing we need is another bitter and divisive independence referendum. It unleashed a new type of politics and caused splits that are still apparent today.


“The hostility could be seen in online abuse, posters being torn down, fake news and the demonisation of journalists, campaigners being bullied off the streets, and even friends and families falling out. It felt like nothing was off limits.”


And the case against independence is still strong.


Nicola Sturgeon has now opened the door to a hard border between England and Scotland.


The SNP’s own Growth Commission guaranteed deep cuts, a huge divorce bill and tax rises. Its author says the SNP’s own currency plan risks “chaos”.


The head of the Scottish civil service warned the SNP Government that their referendum planning would mean “de-prioritisation” of domestic policy. That means they will once again take their eye off the ball. Services that really matter, from education to mental health, will suffer.


But for the SNP independence always comes first, no matter the cost of their obsession. For them, any price is worth paying to break up the UK.


Scottish Liberal Democrat MPs will vote against another independence referendum.


New borders and barriers are bad for business, jobs and the economy. That’s why we are angry that Scottish Conservatives have signed up to Boris Johnson’s Brexit, putting a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.


Jeremy Corbyn is prepared to let people down by trading away Scotland’s place in the UK for the keys to Downing Street. His casual attitude to independence means he can’t be trusted with the future of our country.


The Liberal Democrats are the only party that will Stop Brexit, Stop Independence and Build a Brighter Future.


We will get on with what really matters. We will build a brighter future by tackling the climate emergency and investing in mental health and childcare. And we will deliver more powers for the Scottish Parliament as part of our plans for a federal UK.

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