The leaders of the Labour and Conservative parties in Scotland have lashed out what they call the “divisive” moves by the Scottish National party to hold a second independence referendum, while Number 10 said it was seeking “a future partnership with the EU that works for the whole of the United Kingdom.”
Prime minister Theresa May’s office reiterated its call for the SNP to “focus on delivering good government and public services for the people of Scotland.”
In a statement, the UK government said:
We have been working closely with all the devolved administrations – listening to their proposals, and recognising the many areas of common ground, including workers’ rights, the status of EU citizens living in the UK and our security from crime and terrorism.
Only a little over two years ago people in Scotland voted decisively to remain part of our United Kingdom in a referendum which the Scottish Government defined as a ‘once in a generation’ vote. The evidence clearly shows that a majority of people in Scotland do not want a second independence referendum. Another referendum would be divisive and cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time.
Kezia Dugdale, head of the Labour party in Scotland, said her party would vote against holding a second referendum, adding that “Scotland is already divided enough”.
In a statement, she said:
We do not want to be divided again, but that is exactly what another independence referendum would do.
With our country facing all of the uncertainty around the Tories’ reckless plans for a hard Brexit, the last thing we need is even more uncertainty and division.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he thought it was “wrong” to hold a fresh referendum “so soon”, and that Labour “will oppose independence”. But he added:
Ruth Davidson, leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, also said her party would vote against the request for a fresh Scottish vote.