Leaving lights on

Friends in the European Parliament

Today in Holyrood, there was a debate on whether Scotland should hold another independence referendum this year. The motion was:

Speaking in the debate First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I’m asking Parliament to endorse a basic but fundamental principle – that Scotland’s future should be decided, not by politicians at Westminster who haven’t won a General Electon in Scotland since the 1950s, but instead by all of us who live here and call Scotland home.”

“It is the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine the form of Government best suited to our needs. That is the declaration at the heart of the Claim Of Right and it should be endorsed by this Parliament today.”

Meanwhile in Brussels, MEP Erik Marquardt, a German member of the Greens/EFA grouping, Tweeted:
“My great Scottish colleague @AlynSmith said in his speech on #Brexit: “I’m not asking you to solve our domestic discussions, I am asking you to leave a light on, so we can find our way home.“ So we did.”

British MEPs arriving in the EU parliament in Brussels this morning found a sign above the chamber saying: “It’s not goodbye, it’s au revoir.” Many MEPs showed their sadness at the departure of the UK by singing Auld Lang Syne.

As well as debating Scotland’s right to hold another independence referendum, Holyrood also debated whether or not to keep the EU flag flying outside the parliament building, voting by 63 to 54 to keep it on its pole after the UK leaves the EU on Friday night, a symbol of Scotland’s intention to return to the EU once independent. The vote overturned the earlier decision of the parliamentary corporate body which has pledged to accept the result.

The result of the Holyrood motion was 64 in favour of a second independence referendum and 54 against, a parliamentary mandate for an independence referendum to add to the stack of others already attained. So opposition parties voting against. No surprise there. Though it’s interesting that in the 2014 Vow, signed by leaders of Labour, Tories, and their branch office leaders, apparently believed then that it was for the Scottish people to decide how Scotland was governed. The Vow also promised a stronger Scottish Parliament, but mentioned nothing of powers being grabbed back from it. Read and perhaps ask why opposition minds have changed on the right of people in Scotland to determine their own future, and why unionists are turning their backs on democracy.

The first line reads “Power lies with the Scottish people and we believe it is for the Scottish people to decide how Scotland is governed.” So why are the Better Together folk reneging on this and refusing the Scottish people an indyref?

Now, with permission for an independence referendum to be held this year passed through Holyrood, we have to wait until Friday to see what our First Minister has to say on the way ahead.

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