SNP MP Tells LBC Scotland Is Getting "Ready" To Hold Another Independence Referendum

13 October 2019, 13:27 | Updated: 13 October 2019, 13:29

The Deputy Westminster Leader for the SNP told Andrew Castle that legislation is being passed that would make the country "ready and able" to hold another independence referendum.

Andrew Castle asked Kirsty Blackman: "What mandate do you have for a second referendum? You had one in 2014."

Blackman responded: "Yeah, but in 2016 we stood on a Scottish Parliament manifesto that said if Scotland is dragged out of the EU against our will, we reserve a right for another independence reference.

Scottish Parliament, just now, is passing legislation which means we would be ready and able to hold an independence referendum because if you look at where polling is, we're moving towards a situation where the majority of Scots are supporting independence."

Andrew Castle then asked for Blackman to evidence this.

SNP MP Tells LBC Scotland Is Getting "Ready" To Hold Independence Referendum
SNP MP Tells LBC Scotland Is Getting "Ready" To Hold Independence Referendum. Picture: PA

She said: "There was a poll recently that said well over half of Scottish people would like another independence referendum. I mean things have changed drastically since 2014. In 2014, we were told to vote 'no' to Scottish independence in order to stay in the EU. Obviously, that hasn't exactly panned out as planned.

"I think having Boris Johnson in Number 10 is not helping anything. People are looking at the absolute shambles in Westminster and saying actually we can see a better future.

"And if you look at the Scottish government and if you look at the SNP's results in the European elections this year, for example, the SNP has been in government for 12 years and we still managed to get our highest ever European election result.

Governments don't do that. The reality is the Scottish government is overwhelmingly more popular than the Westminster government."

Andrew asked whether the SNP should instead be focusing on education, health and other public services.

She said: "But we are focusing on these things."

Andrew said: "It's not going great is it?"

She responded: "We've got the best performing NHS in the UK, it's better than any of the other nations in the UK, we've got the lowest levels of child poverty in the UK because of the actions of the Scottish government. We are doing everything that we can but the thing is Westminster is squeezing us.

We've had a decade of austerity and the Scottish budget relies on the generosity or otherwise of Westminster because we don't have the ability to raise our own funds in order to have public services that are the best possible for our citizens."