Borders MP urges Scottish Government to abandon bid for second independence vote

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Borders MP John Lamont this week called on Scottish Government First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to drop her demands for a second independence referendum.

The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP issued that appeal during a debate in the UK Parliament on Monday about two rival petitions on the issue.

One, signed by more than 220,000 people, calls on the Scottish Government to abandon its plans for a second independence referendum.

The other, backed by 38,000 signatories, was in favour of a re-run of 2014’s referendum.

Noting that Ms Sturgeon had previously promised not to hold another referendum unless there was strong evidence that a significant number of pro-union voters had changed their minds, Mr Lamont insisted that polls since indicated that only a minority of Scots want to go back to the ballot box.

During the debate, in Westminster Hall, he said: “Most Scots don’t want another independence referendum.

“Poll after poll shows support for separation has fallen.

“Poll after poll shows the majority of Scots, including many yes voters, don’t want another divisive referendum.

“Since the First Minister made her bid for another referendum earlier this year, not a single opinion poll has shown demand for a referendum.

“We had a very long constitutional debate which resulted in a fair and decisive referendum with a record turnout.

“Both sides agreed to respect the result.

“For many of us, this vote was not a pleasant experience. It was divisive and damaging. People do not want to go through that all over again.

“The other reason people are so against another independence referendum is because even just the threat of another vote is damaging our economy and distracting the Scottish Government.

“The Scottish economy has grown by 0.5% in the last year compared to 1.5% across the whole of the UK.

“Small businesses in Scotland are significantly less confident about the future than their UK counterparts.

“In an already-uncertain time across the UK, companies north of the border face a whole extra layer of volatility.

“And in the Borders, this uncertainty is even more damaging because so many jobs and businesses are based just across the border in England.”