The vote to democratically mandate SNP party leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, MSP, to request authority from the Westminster parliament to hold a second Scottish Independence referendum before the UK leaves the EU-bloc was passed by 69 votes for compared to 59 votes against.
As expected, the Scottish Green party supported the SNP motion authorising the Scot-Government to seek approval under UK legislation at Westminster to hold a legal referendum.
Holyrood MSPs from the pro-UK Union parties – the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberals – all voted against the Scot-Govt.
Sturgeon said the new Independence referendum is needed to allow Scotland to decide what path to follow in the wake of last year’s vote in favour of British independence from the EU-bloc. The UK-wide referendum result was in favour of Brexit while Scotland decisively voted in favour of remaining within the EU.
Sturgeon said: “The people of Scotland should have the right to choose between Brexit – and possibly a very hard Brexit – or becoming an Independent country, able to chart our own course and create a true partnership of equals across these islands.
“I hope the UK government will respect the will of this Parliament. If it does so, I will enter discussion in good faith and with a willingness to compromise.
“However, if it chooses not to do so I will return to the Parliament following the Easter recess to set out the steps that the Scottish government will take to progress the will of parliament.”
The historic Holyrood vote came as a new Scottish political party dedicated to holding a new referendum on Scottish independence was launched in Edinburgh.
Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party (SIRP) has been set up by Scots businessman Mark R. Whittet, who is the publishing Director of Scottish Energy News Ltd.
Whittet said: “As Leader of Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party, my aim will be to ensure that all the votes in favour of Scottish independence either on the ‘first’ – but particularly the ‘second’ votes- to the Scottish Parliament, local councils and the European parliament are effectively registered and counted.
“The way the pre-devolution fix by the Westminster parliament – even before the Scottish Parliament was re-born – was deliberately designed to ‘knock Scottish independence stone dead.’
“While Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party may not gain sufficient votes to be elected on ‘first-votes’ only, there are hundreds of thousands of SNP voters literally wasting their ‘second’ vote on anti-independence Unionist political parties because of the lack of any alternative.
“Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party will now give hundreds of thousands of SNP ‘second-voters’ a second chance to cast a meaningful second-vote in support of Scotttish Independence.
“As for our energy policy, the Scottish Independence Referendum Party supports the drive towards reducing carbon emissions in all three main sectors – electricity, heat and transport, is broadly supportive of market-led solutions, endorses an evidence-based approach and is not dogmatically in favour of, or against, any one type of technology or another.
“Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party shares the same over-arching aim as the SNP – which is Independence for Scotland – and it is open to partnership working with all parties to achieve this over-arching goal.
“Independence for Scotland will create new challenges – but also new opportunities – for businessmen and entrepreneurs from across the industrial and commercial spectrum, not just in the energy sector, especially if Scotland remains within the European Union.
“We’ve only just managed to get Scotland’s Independence Referendum Party registered as an official political party with the Electoral Commission, so we haven’t got our website up yet. But, yes, party members and donations are all welcome and details will be available online shortly.”
“Meanwhile, Scottish Energy News is – and will remain – resolutely editorially independent.”
See also: www.scottishenergynews.com/news