Glasgow council leader calls for indyref2

24 June 2019, 13:13 | Updated: 24 June 2019, 13:16

Independence march glasgow 2019

Holding another independence referendum should be up to the Scottish Parliament, according to the leader of Glasgow City Council.

In a motion lodged at the local authority ahead of a meeting on Thursday, the SNP's Susan Aitken will urge councillors to back her call for Holyrood to have authority over the referendum process.

Ms Aitken will also ask councillors to support her in writing to the Scottish Government's Constitutional Relations Secretary, Mike Russell, in support of principles which include the referendum is held "in line with established

best practice".

In her motion, Ms Aitken states: "Council welcomes the publication of the Referendums (Scotland) Bill on May 29 and notes that it is expected to complete its parliamentary progress by the end of 2019.

"Council notes that the Bill provides a legal framework for holding referendums on matters that are now, or in future, within the competence of the Scottish Parliament."

It continues: "Council recognises that, as Scotland is dragged towards the exit door of the EU by a Conservative Government for which we did not vote, and that the promises made by the No Campaign in the 2014 independence referendum lie in tatters, citizens in Glasgow and across Scotland are entitled to exercise their right to reject this future through a further referendum on independence.

"Council agrees that a future independence referendum should be under the control of the Scottish Parliament and, under the guidance of the Electoral Commission, be fair and open, in line with established best practice, and command public confidence, and instructs the Leader of the Council to write to the Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations in support of these principles and of the aims of the Referendums (Scotland) Bill."

As well as outlining her support for an independence referendum to be controlled by Holyrood, Ms Aitken also notes Scotland's 62% Remain vote in the EU referendum of 2016 and states concern over Tory leadership candidates who have outlined plans to leave the EU without a deal.

Scotland in Union chief executive Pamela Nash criticised Ms Aitken of "constitutional grandstanding".

"This tells you everything you need to know about the SNP's priorities in Glasgow," she said.

"Local residents want councillors to focus on the day job of improving education services, cleaning up the city's streets and delivering elderly care - not constitutional grandstanding.

"The majority of people in Scotland don't want a divisive second independence referendum.

"Remaining in the UK will ensure a bright economic future for Glasgow as a target for major UK investment, rather than putting the local economy at risk by erecting trade barriers."

The group leader of the Glasgow Conservatives, Thomas Kerr, said: "It's time the SNP honoured their pledge that the 2014 referendum was a once in a generation event and stop pursuing constitutional chaos with another referendum just to keep their party together.

"Glasgow needs an administration that will focus its attention on the day job.

"Susan Aitken has shown since 2017 that she's the SNP's voice in the City Chambers, not Glasgow's voice.

"She either needs to get on with the day job she was elected to do or step aside and find a new one.

"People across our city have one clear message for the SNP - no second referendum."