Joan McAlpine MSP says Scotland must have democratic choice over future

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Theresa May is undemocratic in forcing a hard Brexit on Scotland and denying its people a choice on their future MSP Joan McAlpine has said.


The MSP was commenting as the Tory Prime Minister rejected calls for a second independence referendum prior to Britain’s exit from the EU.


Earlier in the week Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she would seek parliamentary approval to begin discussions with the UK government on an independence vote.


The First Minister said that the Westminster government has been guilty of “sheer intransigence” in the face of Scottish Government attempts to find a compromise that recognised Scotland’s  62% vote to remain in the EU.


Commenting, Joan McAlpine MSP – who also convenes the Scottish Parliament’s European committee – said:


“The EU referendum was just the trigger – this is about democracy and the complete and utter failure of the current UK state to treat Scotland as an equal partner.


“Now Theresa May is attempting to run roughshod over the First Minister’s clear mandate to hold a second independence referendum.  Why do the Tories fear the verdict of the Scottish people?


“Westminster has continually acted against the best interests of Scotland, not least by ruling out membership of the single market without consulting the Scottish Government.


“Nobody in the UK voted to leave the single market – the leave campaign said that would not happen.


“It has become clear that the Tory government has no intention of respecting Scotland’s 62% vote to remain in the EU.


“Throughout the entire Brexit process to date, the Scottish Government has been consistent in its pursuit of a compromise with the UK government, putting forward substantial proposals for Scotland to remain in the single market as part of the UK.  But the Tory government has rejected these and is pursuing an ever harder line.


“It is within this context – of the Tory government intent on pursuing a damaging hard Brexit and set to trigger Article 50 without communicating with the devolved governments – that it has become ever clearer that the people of Scotland must be offered a choice over our future.


“The people of Scotland deserve a choice – once the terms of Brexit are clear and before it is too late to decide our own path – honouring the manifesto pledge that we were elected on last year.


“Scotland now stands at a crossroads, and we cannot drift along for two years just hoping for the best.  We face the real prospect of right-wing Tory governments until at least 2030 and being dragged out of the EU and Single Market with all the damage to our economy and society that will cause.”