ALBA in St. Andrew's Day bid to breakthrough the constitutional logjam

ALBA Party to propose a new Referendum to breakthrough the constitutional logjam on independence.

The Party’s Holyrood Leader, Ash Regan MSP, proposes to introduce a Bill for a Referendum to consult the people of Scotland on whether the powers of the Scottish Parliament should be extended to include the power to legislate for and negotiate independence. Such a referendum would be held exactly ten years after the 2014 poll.

ALBA Party Holyrood leader Ash Regan MSP said;

“It is ALBA Party’s policy that at each and every election Scotland should be offered the choice of voting for a mandate to negotiate independence. That is unlikely to happen at the coming General Election since neither the SNP or the Greens support that proposition and have rejected the ALBA Party offer of a single Scotland United candidate standing in each constituency seeking that mandate. Notwithstanding, ALBA Party will certainly offer every voter in Scotland exactly that option at the next Scottish election.

However, there is no reason why the independence movement should make no progress in the meantime. My colleague Neale Hanvey MP has a Scottish sovereignty Bill currently before the Westminster Parliament which would transfer the power to hold a referendum on independence to Scotland.

But the real prospect of momentum lies here in Scotland. Last year’s ill-fated expedition to the Supreme Court has halted the opportunity to propose an independence referendum in the Scottish Parliament. However, there is nothing to stop our Parliament proposing a referendum which we believe would be within competence, and that is to ask the people whether they believe the powers of the Parliament should be extended to include the right to legislate for and negotiate independence.

That is what my proposed new draft Bill does and I intend to canvass public and parliamentary support for it now. It is time for the independence movement to offer our supporters the real prospect of progress.”

Former First Minister and ALBA Party leader Alex Salmond added;

“Ash Regan’s move to ALBA Party is a breath of fresh air in this Parliament. This proposal can propel the independence movement forward and free it of its current inertia.

More than ten years ago this is exactly the sort of initiative I would have taken if David Cameron had refused a section 30 referendum. Indeed I had a draft with a similar question in an advanced stage of preparation - just in case. No doubt that fact concentrated the mind of Westminster wonderfully. If you want to end a London veto over Scottish sovereignty then you have to make it clear that you are not prepared to take No for an answer.

The way to assert the sovereignty of the Scottish people is to ask the people the question on whether their own parliament should have the powers to determine our future”

ALBA Party Chair Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh added;

“Earlier this year after the Supreme Court misadventure led the SNP to a constitutional dead end, ALBA Party instructed one of Scotland’s leading KCs to examine the legal routes forward out of the constitutional dead end into which Scotland has been led.

Aidan O’Neill’s opinion articulates the view that the Parliament has the power to hold this referendum and that consulting the people on their opinion on extending the decision making power of their Parliament is arguably within competence. Now with ALBA Party being led by Ash Regan in the Parliament there is the opportunity to take it forward.

The legislation proposed goes right to the heart of the issue. It would mean that exactly a decade after the first referendum the people of Scotland would have the opportunity to articulate their view on whether the political destiny of the nation should be in Scotland’s hands. It will be the peoples’ opportunity to democratically answer the judicial overreach of the Supreme Court.

There can be no better initiative to take on this St Andrew’s Day.”

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