This is the best they can do…

Somewhat unexpectedly, a reply has come from my SNP MSP, given here in full (omitting only some courtesies). It came almost two weeks ago, just before I was leaving home, or it would have been up earlier – no disrespect intended. I will post my reply in the next few days.

As I’ve come to expect, you’ve passionately put forward your point of view on the use of referendums. I note your comments on the use of a confirming referendum or other mechanisms to qualify a referendum result.

As you are aware, the SNP campaigns for an independent Scotland in order to create a more socially just and economically prosperous nation, that makes decisions based on our priorities decided democratically here by our elected Parliament. It has been party policy for many years now that the people of Scotland should have a say on the issue of self-determination through a referendum. That policy remains the position of the SNP. It was of course also part of the mandate that we sought at the last Scottish Parliament elections in 2016.

Much has changed since 2014 when the last Scottish Independence referendum was held. The EU referendum was, in my view, based on slogans and overblown newspaper headlines. This was in contrast to the comprehensive White Paper that the Scottish Government put forward in 2014. The result of the EU referendum contradicts what the people of Scotland were told in 2014 during the Scottish Independence referendum. People in Scotland were erroneously told by Better Together in 2014 that independence would result in Scotland being taken out of the EU. However, voting to continue as part of the UK in 2014 has instead resulted in Scotland facing the isolationism of Brexit against our democratic will. As a result of the EU referendum, where Scotland voted by 62% to remain in the EU (78% in the local constituency), the people of Scotland are now faced with being taken out of the EU against their will.

Having discussed the issue of referendums with you before I know that we will disagree on their use. However, I want you to know that I respect your view and thank you for taking the time to inform me of your views.

Kind regards,
Ben