Scottish National Party proposes pact with Labour for second Brexit referendum
15 October 2018
Speaking to the BBC at the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) annual conference in Glasgow, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the party’s 35 Westminster MPs would vote for a second referendum on Britain’s relationship to the European Union (EU).
Leading figures have also indicated the SNP is open to an election pact with Labour and cooperation with a government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour too is moving towards supporting a second Brexit poll, meaning that, despite protestations, the two parties are coming closer together.
Previously senior figures in the SNP had suggested that open support for a rerun of the 2016 vote would depend on the Scottish government acquiring some sort of veto on the outcome. The SNP have also been concerned that a rerun could return the same result as in 2016 when Scotland voted by 62 percent to remain in the EU while across Britain 52 percent chose to leave.
Sturgeon’s change in position is bound up with the deepening and intractable crisis afflicting all aspects of the Conservative government’s efforts to negotiate a viable Brexit deal. The Tories are split between factions supporting Prime Minister Theresa May’s clumsy “soft-Brexit” plan negotiated at Chequers seeking continued tariff-free access to the Single European Market, a smaller faction supporting remaining in the EU and the hardline anti-EU faction proposing a “hard” or even “no deal” Brexit. This Brexiteer faction, much larger than the Remainers and backed by the Democratic Unionist Party’s 10 MPs who give the Tories their majority, has thus far dictated May’s agenda.
Since the 2016 poll, the SNP has sought, and failed, to…