25th February 2020
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Case for Scottish independence ‘increasingly feeble’, says Carmichael

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael gave a less than enthusiastic response to the Holyrood vote that backs calls for a second independence vote.

Alistair Carmichael – case for Scottish independence is ‘increasingly feeble’. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Mr Carmichael, who played a prominent and controversial role in the last independence referendum campaign, said the case for independence was “increasingly feeble”.

The former Scottish secretary poured scorn on the SNP and Scottish Greens, who combined to see Tuesday’s vote passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Carmichael said: “If this debate has shown us anything it’s that The SNP and Greens case for yet another independence referendum is increasingly feeble. The SNP refuse to guarantee EU membership while the Greens are now checking the back of the sofa to find that petition with one million names on it.

“Nicola Sturgeon is in an absurd position as she is using the EU to get her referendum but the referendum won’t get the EU. The First Minister can’t use the EU to claim a mandate when her referendum won’t take us back in. It shows that the EU was just an excuse and that it has only ever been about independence.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats stood on a manifesto to oppose a divisive referendum and we will continue to do that. The SNP say they speak for Scotland, well they spoke three years ago and told them no.

Instead of hunting for division we need to sort out the problems on our doorstep.”

The two-day Holyrood debate was delayed in the aftermath of the Westminster terror attacks last week. When it resumed on Tuesday MSPs voted 69 to 59 in favour of requesting a second referendum.

After the vote First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “My argument is simply this: when the nature of the change that is made inevitable by Brexit becomes clear, that change should not be imposed upon us, we should have the right to decide the nature of that change.

“The people of Scotland should have the right to choose between Brexit – 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.”

Prime Minister Theresa May, who on Wednesday triggered Article 50 to start the negotiation process ahead of leaving the EU, has repeatedly said “now is not the time” for another independence referendum.


  1. David Spence

    Whatever the outcome of the negotiations between the Tories and the EU, I suspect, overall, the UK will be worse off. These negotiations will take a lot longer than 2 years, I think. Some people are saying it could take as long as 7 years or more?

    It is, to a degree, a bit of a Catch 22 scenario in regards to the Scottish Independence Campaign, as Nicola will have to wait and see what deal the Tories get from the EU………this could, as mentioned, drag on for years.

    The people of Scotland voted to remain within the EU, but England having, roughly, 80% of the UK population, over-ruled Scotland and Northern Ireland. I believe Nicola approach David Cameron 4 months before the EU Ref. and said ‘ Each member of the UK should have their own EU Ref. ‘ This was refused by Cameron. ‘

    Personally, I think this whole EU Ref. is more to do with the Tories having a trade deal with the USA, and without the EU interfering in such a deal. Basically, if this is the case, the future for the UK will be pretty bleak…………but the Tories will benefit immensely from it.

  2. Johan Adamson

    Would this be the stance that got you all of those MPs and MSPs?

    Currently there is no chance of remaining the the EU, the SNP is at least offering remainers the chance to stay in

  3. Alan Dow

    During the last Scottish independence referendum the Scottish people were told by the No campaign ” the ONLY way to stay in the EU was to vote no. Now three years after that vote we are still being taken out, even though Scotland voted to remain. I may be wrong but it looks to me that the Torry government knew that there would be a vote about the eu but lied just to keep the union together. For all the people who are against another Indy ref, it’s simple don’t vote if you think it’s a waste of time…… That’s what democracy is about it’s your right……

    • Gordon Harmer

      Maybe you should have listened to David Cameron who promised an EU referendum in January 2013. Or for that matter read the SNPs own white paper which stated there would be an EU referendum and the only way to avoid leaving the EU was to vote yes. Instead of blaming others for the way you voted it is always best to do some research.

  4. Brian Smith

    The standard of oratory among British politicians is slumping. Take for example Alistair Carmichael: “The SNP say they speak for Scotland, well they spoke three years ago and told them no’.”

  5. ian tinkler

    I can not help but feel the case for Shetland Autonomy grows stronger by the day. It is time we really took control of our own destiny.

  6. Gordon Harmer

    What ever excuse Sturgeon uses for Scottish independence she needs the support of the Scottish people, something she does not have, https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/uk-regions/scotland/news/84692/blow-nicola-sturgeon-poll-shows-scots-reject-her-post-brexit
    She was also told in 2014 she had no support and she should respect that, the SNP are not Scotland and they do not speak for Scotland, even with the help of the manifesto breaking Greens.
    The SNP are becoming a minority administration with an increasingly minority voice.