Harvie: Scottish Labour quick to abandon approach to Scotland staying in EU

Responding to a speech by the Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, in which she appeared to abandon her willingness to keep Scotland in Europe, Scottish Greens say Labour took only a fortnight to abandon its “open-mindedness to Scotland’s constitutional future”.

Dugdale made clear in her speech her continued opposition to independence by saying: “I’ll keep arguing we’re stronger in UK with our biggest trading partner than we would be on our own.”

Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish Greens’ co-convener agreed with some of her reasons for why people voted to Leave, but said the solutions offered should be to do so much more than to “listen” to those who opted out of the European Union.

Harvie said:

“Yes, many people voted Leave, out of anger at the state of our unfair economy – but we need to do more than listen, we need to show how we can build an economy which works for them, instead of just for the wealthy few and for multinationals.

“It took Labour just two weeks to abandon its open-mindedness to Scotland’s constitutional future. It was only last week that a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, Greens and Labour included, voted to give the government a mandate to explore every avenue possible to keeping Scotland in the European Union.

“Now, Labour appears to have retreated to its old unionist stance, having learned nothing from working so closely with the Tories as part of Better Together. Thankfully Scottish Green MSPs can provide a positive opposition in the Scottish Parliament that’s actually prepared to work to keep Scotland in Europe and help build the fairer economy we know is possible.”

Harvie added:

“Clearly Labour in Scotland is not ready to form a progressive and constructive opposition and that the party needs much repair. Former First Minister, Jack McConnell’s comment that some of the party’s politicians ‘do not exhibit enough passion’ illustrates that they still have some way to go.” [1]




 “There’s far too many elected representatives for the Labour Party who do not exhibit enough passion for the causes we are there to push.” Jack McConnell, 7 July 2016.