SNP MP warns PM: A fight with democracy is a fight he will never, not ever, win

·3 min read

There is now a “fresh democratic commitment to give the Scottish people the right to choose an independent future”, the SNP’s Westminster leader has said.

Ian Blackford warned Boris Johnson: “The Prime Minister needs to reflect on this reality. A fight with democracy is a fight he will never, not ever, win.”

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber told the Commons: “There is a mandate for an independence referendum and let me put this House on notice – it’s the people of Scotland and our Parliament that will determine when that independence referendum will take place.”

He accused Conservative MPs of “mocking” such remarks.

On social care, he added: “The new SNP Government will move to establish a National Care Service backed by a 25% increase in social care investment. While the Conservatives dither, the SNP Government in Edinburgh acts.”

The Queen’s Speech, he argued, contained “further power grabs on state aid and other aspects of devolved spending and powers”.

He added: “When this crisis has passed there is now a fresh democratic commitment to give the Scottish people the right to choose an independent future.

“The Prime Minister would do well to listen to the First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon) – an independence referendum is now a question of when and not if.”

He went on: “We look forward to Scotland re-joining the independent nations (of) the European Union.”

Mr Blackford said the recent electoral results “represent such a historic and defining moment”.

Mr Blackford added: “Last Thursday, the people of Scotland turned out in record numbers, the highest turnout that we have seen at a Scottish parliamentary election, to re-elect the SNP Government for a fourth consecutive term.

“They turned out to support that message of hope and change so brilliantly characterised by our First Minister. It was an election that broke nearly every record in the book and it is a result that will continue to reverberate.

“That electoral earthquake now opens the democratic path that will shape Scotland’s future. And let’s be clear – that future will be in Scotland’s hands and it will be the people’s choice and nobody, nobody else.”

He continued: “The promise that we made to the people of Scotland was if they voted for us in that election, if they delivered a majority for independence in that parliament, that nobody, not the Prime Minister and certainly not (Conservative MP Andrew Bowie) will stop the people of Scotland having a democratic choice.”

Mr Blackford added that the Conservatives have to “recognise what happened”.

Conservative former Scottish Secretary David Mundell criticised the SNP’s desire for a “divisive” second independence referendum, telling the debate: “Not only is this the wrong priority for our country, it is a betrayal of every voter who supported the party out of a desire for leadership through the pandemic and into recovery.

“The SNP has no moral authority to hold a second referendum.

“They failed their own test to secure a majority and have been left as a minority government.”