7 curious independence quotes from Unionist politicians

Despite a clear and unambiguous mandate for a Scottish independence referendum, politicians from the Tories and Labour are desperately trying to deny democracy.

The 2021 election produced a record high pro-independence vote and an increased pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament – and a decisive majority of people in Scotland agree there is a mandate.

The same politicians who are now trying to deny that mandate had some pretty curious things to say when it comes to democracy, sovereignty and independence.

As Scotland prepares for the upcoming referendum, they’d prefer if you forgot their words – so we’ve compiled a handy reminder.

Boris Johnson

Here’s what the Prime Minister and the “Minister for the Union” said about the value of independence in the context of Brexit – which he imposed on Scotland against our democratic will:

“No country that values its independence, and indeed its self-respect, could agree to a treaty which signed away our economic independence and self-government.”

Douglas Ross

“People have to be really clear that a vote for the SNP is a vote for another independence referendum.”

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, MP, MSP and football referee Douglas Ross was absolutely right on this occasion.

In the 2021 election, the SNP made a major manifesto commitment to hold a referendum, and won the election with a record high number of votes, seats and a record high vote share – forming a pro-independence majority government with the Greens.

Ruth Davidson

Baroness Ruth Davidson

“If the Greens and the SNP, and the SSP or any of the other parties who have declared an interest in independence, get over the line and can make a coalition, make a majority, get the votes in the Parliament, then they’ll vote through a referendum.

That’s what democracy is all about.”

Indeed. In the 2021 election, pro-independence parties received a record high number of votes and seats, with the SNP and the Greens forming a clear majority in the Scottish Parliament.

That’s a clear mandate for an independence referendum – and according to research, the majority of the Scottish public agree.

Ian Murray

“A democracy fails to be a democracy if the public are not allowed to change their mind.”

During the Brexit process, Scottish Labour’s only MP accepted that people are allowed to change their mind – before U-turning, voting for Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and now becoming a full supporter of a damaging Brexit.

We presume that any minute now, Ian Murray will acknowledge the clear democratic mandate for an independence referendum…

David Davis

“There is no other treaty in the world that I’m aware of where a sovereign nation undertakes to join up, and can only leave when the other side says so.”

Senior Tory MP and former Brexit Secretary, should have a word with his boss Boris Johnson to remind him that Scotland hasn’t voted Tory since 1955 – and that the Tories have no right to deny Scotland’s fundamental right to decide its future.

Keir Starmer

“The future of Scotland is obviously a matter for Scotland.”

Speaking on a visit to Scotland during the Labour leadership election in 2020, Keir Starmer said that if the SNP won the 2021 election, “they will have a mandate” for an independence referendum.

Tony Blair

“Actually, the people do have the right to change their mind.”

Keir Starmer’s and Anas Sarwar’s hero, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, said that people have the right to change their mind – just a week after the 2016 EU referendum.

And yet, he seems adamant to deny the clear mandate for Scotland’s independence referendum – despite the fact the Union has drastically changed since 2014 and the ‘No’ campaign’s promises were completely broken.

They didn’t just say it, but signed it too…

Tories, Labour and all unionist parties have signed up to the Smith Commission report in 2014, which clearly said that another referendum is a right and a matter for the people of Scotland – not Westminster.

It states: “It is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.”

The 2011 election result was accepted as a mandate for a referendum – and in terms of both the number of votes and the vote share, the 2021 result exceeded the 2011 election.

There is a clear mandate for indyref2 – and by opposing it, the pro-union politicians are breaking their signed pledge.

Get involved in the campaign to send them a message, and help build a fairer, better Scotland with independence.