Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum – by the highest margin of all UK nations, with all of the 32 council areas rejecting Brexit.
Ever since, Scotland has been completely ignored by the Tories – with Labour playing their full part in imposing a hard Brexit on Scotland against our will.
With both Labour and the Lib Dems turning their backs on Europe, only the SNP has stuck to its principles and the will of the Scottish people by continuing to support EU membership.
Here’s what you need to know.
Labour betrayed the clearly expressed will of the people of Scotland
Keir Starmer and the overwhelming majority of his Labour MPs backed Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal – despite the clear evidence of its disastrous consequences for Scotland’s economy, jobs and communities.
This included Scottish Labour’s only MP, Ian Murray, who marched through the Westminster lobbies with the Tories to impose this hard Brexit on Scotland and his Edinburgh constituents – despite Edinburgh being the most pro-EU city in the whole of Scotland and the UK, voting 74.4% to Remain.
Ian Murray represents part of a city, Edinburgh, that voted overwhelmingly in favour of Remaining in the EU (74%).
This now means he’s working against the wishes of his own constituents and the Scottish branch of his party.
What a disaster. https://t.co/kz6b0lh7qg
— Ross Colquhoun (@rosscolquhoun) December 29, 2020
Keir Starmer even went against Scottish Labour itself
While Westminster voted to drag Scotland out of the EU, the Scottish Parliament – on numerous occasions – has refused consent to the Brexit Bill.
All parties (including Scottish Labour) voted against it, apart from the Scottish Tories.
Yet despite Scottish Labour MSPs voting against the Brexit deal at Holyrood, Keir Starmer has ordered the Scottish branch office to support UK Labour’s position of backing Brexit – exposing just how out of touch he is with Scotland.
By backing Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, Ian Murray has left Labour in quite a tangle ahead of next year’s Holyrood election. It’s time we had an @theSNP MSP in #EdinburghSouthern who will stand up for our European values & Scotland’s future in the EU. 🏴🇪🇺 https://t.co/uKAeuI1XBT
— Catriona MacDonald (@CatrionaSNP) December 30, 2020
Labour voted for a deal that explicitly went against Starmer’s own ‘Brexit tests’
Earlier in the Brexit process, Keir Starmer has set out his ‘six tests’ for backing any Brexit deal.
However, it’s clear that Boris Johnson’s disastrous deal did not meet any of these tests – particularly those of “exact same benefits as single market and customs union membership”, “defending rights and protections”, and “delivering for all regions and nations of the UK”.
I don’t see how any of these tests can be said to have been met. Keir Starmer: Labour has six tests for Brexit – if they’re not met we won’t back the final deal in parliament – LabourList https://t.co/s20Dle1lAO
— ALASTAIR CAMPBELL (@campbellclaret) December 27, 2020
But despite all that, Labour has enabled this Tory Brexit at any cost, against the clearly express will of Scotland, against the will of Scottish Labour voters, and even against the will of the Labour government in Wales.
Keir Starmer stood with Boris Johnson and betrayed his own leadership pledge on free movement
When the SNP called for an extension of the Brexit transition period at the end of 2020, to avoid an economic hit in the middle of a pandemic, Keir Starmer backed Boris Johnson in refusing this.
And he backed Boris Johnson again in January 2021, when he said there is “no case for re-joining the EU” – reaffirming his support for a hard Tory Brexit.
Less than a year earlier, when standing to be Labour leader, Starmer pledged to “defend free movement as we leave the EU” – but he abandoned that commitment too, and ruled out a re-negotiation of Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit deal at the next general election.
🌹 2020: In his leadership bid, Keir Starmer pledges to “defend free movement as we leave the EU”.
🥀 2021: Keir Starmer drops Labour pledge to fight for return to EU free movement.https://t.co/G3Mvav833d
— The SNP (@theSNP) March 11, 2021
Only the SNP supports Scotland’s place in Europe
While Labour has flip-flopped on Europe for years – with Jeremy Corbyn’s fence-sitting causing a lot of chaos and economic damage – it’s clear that Keir Starmer is now fully signed up to supporting Boris Johnson’s Brexit.
Meanwhile, the SNP has consistently stood up for Scotland’s overwhelming vote to remain in the EU and stuck firmly to its principles.
The SNP is now the only major political party fighting for Scotland’s will to be within the EU, and the right to choose an independent, European future.
And while Labour denies Scottish democracy, only the SNP can put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands
Polls have shown that over a third of 2019 Labour voters support Scottish independence – with an even bigger number supporting Scotland’s right to choose.
However, Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer back an anti-democratic position of refusing an independence referendum.
🥀 CONFIRMED: Scottish Labour are against Scotland having a choice over its future and have removed a candidate that backs it.
🚨 Voting Scottish Labour helps Tories deny Scotland’s right to decide.
— The SNP (@theSNP) March 9, 2021
During the 2021 election, Labour has again made it clear that those who support independence are not welcome in the party – after Hollie Cameron, a Labour Holyrood candidate for Glasgow Kelvin, has been removed for simply saying that “Labour respects the right” to have a referendum.
🔎 In 2016, the SNP increased its constituency vote, but we lost our majority and ended up with less pro-independence seats. It was the list vote that got the SNP over the majority line in 2011.
🗳 Scotland’s future is in your hands. pic.twitter.com/Ccc1kR9Rp2
— The SNP (@theSNP) February 24, 2021