Former miners’ leader hits out at second referendum call
by Lamiat Sabin and Peter Lazenby
ARTHUR SCARGILL opposed the call for a second Scottish independence referendum yesterday and said Scotland “has an obligation” to abide by the vote to leave the EU.
The former National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president said that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for another referendum should not be granted yet.
He told the Star: “Parliament must reject any proposal from the SNP for a second referendum until the UK has fully left membership of the EU.
“Then, and only then, should any suggestion of separation be even considered. I am speaking as a socialist.
“The Scottish people voted 55.3 per cent to remain in the United Kingdom. The Scottish people also voted in the largest ever known referendum whether the UK should remain in the EU or leave the EU.
“Having participated in that ballot they are bound to accept the decision to leave.”
Mr Scargill added: “I have fought all my life, along with people like Tony Benn, for the UK to withdraw from the iniquitous EU.”
Former Labour MP for Glasgow Ian Davidson, a member of Radical Options for Scotland and Europe (Rose), told the Star that the possible consequences of Scotland leaving the EU and “separating” from the rest of Britain should be made clear before any referendum decision is made.
He said: “The SNP is using the Brexit vote as an excuse to hold a referendum.
“The economic situation is far worse now in Scotland than it was before, so another referendum would be a disaster.
“Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell said that a separate Scotland would have ‘turbocharged austerity,’ and that would be correct. “We need socialism and not separatism. Labour would campaign against the idea of another referendum, but would not block it in Parliament.”
The timing of the referendum call also serves the SNP’s plan to “galvanise supporters” for local elections in May, Mr Davidson added.
Meanwhile, ministers and peers urged Ms Sturgeon to drop plans for a fresh referendum before Brexit negotiations start.