“The people of Scotland are sovereign and have the right to choose their future” said Stuart McMillan yesterday in the chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
Mr McMillan was speaking in the Scottish Government ‘Scotland’s Choice’ debate, which was suspended last Wednesday as a mark of respect following the terror attack on Westminster.
MSPs voted by 69 to 59 in favour of seeking permission for a referendum before the UK leaves the EU.
The Greenock and Inverclyde MSP highlighted the deficiencies in tone and rhetoric from the Tories, whom he stated were only interested in stifling debate rather than discuss fully the constitutional question:
“The Conservative language and amendment today doesn’t talk about removing the opportunity of a referendum altogether but in delaying it.
As the First Minister has stated numerous times, she is willing to have that discussion with the Prime Minister. Once again, showing the willingness of this SNP Government and the First Minister to compromise and find ground for both sides to claim success.
“We have a Prime Minister who doesn’t have the respect to consult the Scottish Government on when Article 50 is to be triggered. Yet when the Scottish Government stand up for themselves and then are castigated for having a grievance.
“It really is an appalling and cheap argument to deploy, but it highlights the lack of substance in the overall unionist argument.
Mr McMillan added that independence was a common sense approach in fulfilling the potential of the country – and provided a positive vision for the future.
“15,568 people in Inverclyde have been fed from the Inverclyde Foodbank since September 2012. I want to give them hope, not remove it. I want to give them a vision of a better life of opportunity and not one consigned to picking up food parcels.”