STRATHKELVIN MSP Rona Mackay will back an independence referendum to protect Scotland from decades of Tory rule in post-Brexit Britain.
The SNP MSP believes a hard Brexit would have “disastrous” consequences for Scotland’s economy and society.
Scotland’s “hand had been forced” following the UK Government’s refusal to listen to compromises from the Scottish Government regarding Brexit.
It follows First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcing the Scottish Government is seeking approval from Holyrood on a referendum on Scottish independence.
She warned that Brexit will set Scotland on a course that would “change the very nature the society and country we are”.
Ms Mackay said: “The future of Scotland is now at stake as we face a chaotic departure from the European Union and its single market, under a hardline Tory government in Westminster. We did not ask for this situation; Scotland’s hand has been forced.
“The rational requests from Scotland regarding Brexit have not even been listened to – and the Scottish Government is being left in the dark about very simple details, like when Article 50 will be triggered.
“Being ripped out of the EU and the single market will be disastrous for Scotland’s economy – locking in lower living standards and costing up to, if not more than, 70,000 Scottish jobs.
“But not just the economy, we are at a turning point where we can embrace a Britain mutating into something unrecognisable under Tory Brexit, or continue to build Scotland as an outward-looking and principled nation.
“I will be voting to give the people of Scotland a say on whether they accept or reject the upcoming dark decades of post-Brexit Tory rule that the Scottish electorate did not vote for.”
NOTES TO REPORTER:
The plan for Scotland has three parts:
(1) The Scottish Government will do all it can to protect Scotland’s interests during the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU.
(2) When the terms of Brexit are known we will give the people the choice over the direction Scotland should take – before it is too late to change course. So between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
(3) Before people make that choice the Scottish Government will set out the challenges and opportunities of independence. In particular, it will set out how to secure our relationship with Europe, build a stronger economy, a fairer society, and forge a genuine partnership of equals across these islands.