Sturgeon accused of ‘hypocrisy’ over second Brexit vote

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Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” after insisting a People’s Vote on Brexit would not set a precedent for Scotland.

The Tories hit out after the First Minister said her party’s MPs would vote to give the public a say on the final terms of the UK’s exit deal from the European Union.

But Ms Sturgeon said that did not mean there would have to be a similar follow-up vote in the event of Scottish independence.

The SNP leader argued the lack of detail from Brexiteers on the UK’s future relationship with Europe was critical in the case for a second ballot.

Ms Sturgeon said: “There was the lie on the side of the bus and nothing more.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland she added: “There was no detail then, there is no detail now and it looks increasingly likely that when the UK leaves the EU at the end of March next year, there will still be no detail about the future relationship, and that makes these two situations, in my view, very different.”

Conservative MSP Annie Wells said: “Surely even Nicola Sturgeon can see the rank hypocrisy here.

“Her position is that, if she loses a referendum, then it must be re-run – but if she wins one, we have to accept her say-so forever.

“We may be Leave or Remain, Yes or No, but we should all be democrats first and foremost. That means respecting our decision to stay in the UK, and respecting our decision to leave the EU.

“Nicola Sturgeon’s failure to do either speaks volumes about her failure to listen. With an attitude like this, no wonder the SNP lost 21 seats under her leadership last year.”

On whether the public should get a vote on the terms of any Brexit deal, Ms Sturgeon said “SNP MPs should vote for that” if the issue comes before the House of Commons.

Pressed on whether that would then set a precedent for there to be a similar vote on any deal to leave the UK in the event of Scottish independence, Ms Sturgeon replied: “In my view, no, and I’ll explain exactly why.

“If you look back to 2014, there was a detailed proposition put to people in that referendum, the White Paper, which not everybody agreed with, obviously.

“But it was a detailed proposition, setting out the implications, setting out in advance some of the compromises that would be required – currency union, for example, continued regulatory harmony.

“So people knew what they were voting for. They knew the shape of the deal that the Scottish Government would then have negotiated if the vote had been for independence.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said Theresa May had been “repeatedly clear” on the issue of Scottish independence.

Mrs May’s official spokesman said: “Scotland already had an independence referendum just four years ago and voted decisively to remain in the UK. This should be respected.

“As the Prime Minister has said, now is not the time for a second independence referendum, now is the time for the United Kingdom to be pulling together to get the right deal for the United Kingdom and the right deal for Scotland in our (Brexit) negotiations.”

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