Dugdale Assures Opposition To IndyRef
5 November 2016, 06:31
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has underlined her party's opposition to a second independence referendum in a speech to its financial backers.
Ms Dugdale used a fundraising dinner to assure supporters her MSPs will reject any proposals for another vote.
The Scottish Government is consulting on a draft Bill for another referendum, which it says could be brought forward if Scotland's place in Europe is not protected in any Brexit deal.
The Labour leader, who finished third in the Holyrood election in May behind the Tories, said her party would instead ``play our full part in discussions about renewing our United Kingdom''.
Prominent figures including former prime minister Gordon Brown and Ms Dugdale's deputy Alex Rowley have backed proposals for a federal UK.
Addressing an audience of 300 supporters and business leaders in Glasgow, Ms Dugdale said: "Our United Kingdom is at risk again and both the SNP and Tory governments seem to want to stretch it to breaking point.
"None of these questions is going to be answered in black and white. That's where I see our mission over the coming years.
"Yes, we're going to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in to the campaigns and political fights that we face every day.
"But the Scottish Labour Party I lead is going to be about facing these big issues head-on, not shying away from them, and giving people across Scotland something to hope for.
"We're going to do that by spelling out over the next few years all the ways that we can use the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to improve our country.
"And show up the SNP for being the timid, managerial government that they really are.
"We're going to use this opportunity to not just reshape Scotland, but play our full part in discussions about renewing our United Kingdom.''
She added: "The Tories and the SNP have no interest in positively binding our country together.
"We are the only party that doesn't just believe in the United Kingdom, but believes in it as the best way to redistribute power and wealth across these islands.
"That's why I am absolutely clear that our plans for this parliamentary session will not involve any support for a second independence referendum.''