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Referendums (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2019.

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Photo of Alex Rowley Alex Rowley Labour

Time and again, the First Minister and cabinet secretary have said that the bill will pave the way for independence for Scotland. I am trying to contrast what they propose for Scotland with what the Labour Party proposes for Scotland. We propose a transformational change in the way that our economy and society work, through the types of investment that I am setting out.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work is sitting having a wee chuckle to himself, but the growth commission, which Derek Mackay sat on, has made it clear that we would have decades more of austerity as a result of the independence referendum bill that is in front of us.

Rather than try to rig a referendum, the Government here in Edinburgh should bring the bill to a halt, and instead free up time to allow Parliament to focus on the kind of transformation that our country needs. The bill is flawed: members should vote it down.