Jardine to oppose "divisive and unnecessary" IndyRef Bill

16 Jan 2024
Christine Jardine standing in front of the Forth Rail Bridge

Liberal Democrat Scottish affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine MP has today said that an attempt to devolve the power for holding new independence referendums to the Scottish Parliament is a “distraction from real issues.”  

The Liberal Democrat MP will today (Tuesday 16th January) oppose Neale Hanvey’s attempt to introduce a new Bill to allow an independence referendum without the consent of the UK Government.  

This follows a 2022 Supreme Court ruling that legislating for a referendum on Scottish independence was not within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.  

Mr Hanvey’s bill would also allow for a referendum every seven years if the Scottish public has “demonstrated its support”.  

Ms Jardine is calling on Scottish MPs to oppose the Bill and focus instead on the “true priorities of the people of Scotland”, including the cost-of-living crisis and staff shortages in the NHS.  

Ms Jardine said:  

“I am frustrated by nationalist MPs who use these rare opportunities to make a difference to people’s lives simply to air grievances or distract us from the real issues facing my constituents.  

“Every week people visit my office because they’re struggling to pay bills, heat their homes or find a doctor’s appointment, not because they’ve got a ten-year itch for another independence referendum.  

“Neale Hanvey could stand up and join me in calling for a mortgage protection fund, an emergency home insulation scheme, or a campaign to recruit the doctors and dentists our communities desperately need.  

“Instead, we will hear more repetitive arguments about why division is better for our communities than working together.  

“I hope the rest of Scotland’s MPs will join me in opposing this divisive and unnecessary Bill and get back to focusing on the true priorities of the people of Scotland.”