“I want to restate Scottish Labour’s support for remaining in the UK” – Kezia Dugdale’s St Andrew’s Day message

30th November, 2016 3:39 pm

Kezia Dugdale

Kezia Dugdale, leader of Scottish Labour, used her St Andrew’s Day message on the party website to reaffirm that her party will oppose any SNP plan for a second referendum on independence.

When we last celebrated St Andrew’s Day, Britain hadn’t voted for Brexit and the United States hadn’t voted for Donald Trump. A lot can happen in the space of 12 months.

We cannot lose heart, though. Now more than ever, we must stand up for what we believe in.  

St Andrew’s Day is an opportunity to showcase to the world our belief in co-operation and solidarity.

It is a message that has resonated throughout the years, and must continue to be heard as we face the years ahead.

I want Scotland to look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm. We are a nation full of talented, energetic people who have changed the world before and can do so again in the future.

It does not matter where you have come from. We are a multicultural nation and that is something that should fill us with great pride. Those who have come here seeking a new opportunity should not be turned away as a result of the division the Tories’ Brexit referendum has caused.

And we must continue to show solidarity with people across the UK.

That’s why this St Andrew’s Day I want to restate Scottish Labour’s support for remaining in the UK. It’s a view that chimes with the majority of Scots and one that I am proud to express. I voted to stay in the EU because I believe that we can achieve more together than we can apart. That same principle of co-operation applies to my support for Scotland staying in the UK.

A new opinion poll today confirms that support for Scotland remaining in the UK is greater now than it was when we voted decisively to remain in September 2014. A substantial majority of people in Scotland don’t want to go through the division and arguments all over again.

We are divided enough already. That’s why there will be no support from Scottish Labour for any SNP plan for a second independence referendum.

Our economy must not be held back by arguments of the past. It can flourish, but only if we invest in future generations. That means stopping the cuts that put the life chances of young people at risk, and using the tax powers of the Scottish Parliament to invest in education instead. That’s what Scottish Labour will focus on in the coming weeks and months.

So today let’s celebrate co-operation and look to the future with optimism.

On behalf of Scottish Labour, I would like to wish you all a happy St Andrew’s Day.

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