Scottish LibDems support cross-community “People’s Vote” rally in Edinburgh


The Guardian reports:

Campaigners demanding a public vote on the final Brexit deal rallied in Edinburgh on Saturday to increase pressure on the UK government.

Backers of the so-called People’s Vote gathered in Festival Square to call for Theresa May’s deal on leaving the EU to be put to the electorate.

According to the People’s Vote campaign group which organised the event and has called the Brexit process a “mess”, the rally was attended by about 1,000 people.

Attending, or speaking at, the event were LibDems Sir Menzies Campbell, MP for North East Fife from 1987 to 2015, Wendy Chamberlain, who is our PPC for that same seat and Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP.

Also speaking at the event were broadcaster Gavin Esler, comedian Rory Bremner, Vanessa Glynn, the chair of the European Movement in Scotland and Mary Ross-Davie, the director of the Royal College of Midwives in Scotland.

Rory Bremner came up with this corker:

Boris Johnson doesn’t need to lie in front of bulldozers because he has lied in front of a bus.

Here’s a couple more Twitpics showing LibDem support at the rally:


* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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19 Comments

  • While it is their right to demand a second vote. I cannot help feeling this will not help the Lib Dem cause and will simply leave us in single digits in the opinion polls.

  • It was a problem at the last general election, because people were fed-up with voting, but a lot has happened since then. Most recent polling shows that about 48% of those asked would like a vote on the deal, with Nos and Don’t Knows split evenly. A big caveat is that it’s ‘of those asked’, so it’s not yet clear how many are actively thinking about it, let alone demanding it.

    In Scotland, the polling showed about two-thirds of SNP supporters want this referendum, and their refusal to commit to one has the potential to cause them problems if they continue to claim to be anti-Brexit. Labour voters are also in favour of a vote on the deal, so supporting this policy isn’t just best for the country, I reckon this helps us more than it hinders. Regional variations will apply of course.

    I would have liked to have attended this, but unfortunately couldn’t make it. I’m pleased to see there was a decent turn-out, and the momentum is definitely building. What was claimed by our rivals to be a crack-pot idea when included in our last manifesto is gaining a great deal of traction from voters of all persuasions.

    It looks like there’s been a bit of kick back from the more hard-core Scottish nationalists, who see a vote on the Brexit deal as an establishment plot to thwart their hopes for another referendum on Scottish independence. I’m not sure how to deal with that, but it might have the benefit of convincing more Tories to support a vote on the deal, negating the need to get the SNP on board!

  • Tony Hutson 19th Aug '18 - 2:31pm

    @Fiona, do you have an SNP MP? If so, write to them – as a constituent – and tell them you want a Peoples vote. Also to any Nat MSPs you have (constituency or list). I’m sure there’s an internal discussion going on within their party about this, and any bit of pressure we can bring to bear will help. They won’t listen to us as LibDems but they will listen to us as constituents.
    People with Labour MPs should be doing the same of course. And even Tories (what harm will it do?!)

  • OnceALibDem 19th Aug '18 - 2:49pm

    “It was a problem at the last general election, because people were fed-up with voting”

    Excluding Brenda from Bristol was this actually the case. Turnout rose in 2017 comparted to 2015 – which was also a rise from 2010.

  • Andrew McCaig 19th Aug '18 - 3:02pm

    Speaking as an outsider, I think if we want the SNP to support our calls for another Brexit referendum we have to drop any unconditional opposition to another Independence referendum.

  • LibDemer 19th Aug ’18 – 10:34am:
    I cannot help feeling this will not help the Lib Dem cause and will simply leave us in single digits in the opinion polls.

    Indeed. It’s just another reminder of broken promises (actual and implied).

  • Roger Roberts 19th Aug '18 - 4:24pm

    Would it be possible for the devolved parliaments to hold their individual votes on any Brexit deal. What if Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted against any deal that No 10 wanted ?

  • Fiona 19th Aug ’18 – 12:27pm:
    Most recent polling shows that about 48% of those asked would like a vote on the deal, with Nos and Don’t Knows split evenly.

    The most recent Deltapoll published in this morning’s Sun on Sunday shows 31% in favour of a “second In/Out referendum”, 15% in favour of “a second referendum, but only on the terms of the deal”, and 40% in favour of “we should just leave next March with or without a deal” with 14% “don’t know”. So there’s no majority polling for another referendum, no agreement about what it would be about, and no electoral mandate to hold one anyway.

    ‘GET ON WITH IT Half of Brits want to leave EU on March 29, with or without a Brexit deal’:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7047947/british-voters-give-brexit-verdict/

  • Roger Roberts 19th Aug ’18 – 4:24pm:
    Would it be possible for the devolved parliaments to hold their individual votes on any Brexit deal. What if Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland voted against any deal that No 10 wanted ?

    Not a devolved matter. This was confirmed by the Gina Miller case…

    ‘R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union’:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_(Miller)_v_Secretary_of_State_for_Exiting_the_European_Union

    The case was intervened by the Lord Advocate and the Counsel General for Wales for the Scottish and Welsh governments (respectively as the Scottish and Welsh Ministers), and applicants for judicial review in Northern Ireland also had their three separate applications considered together with this case, all of whom argued that the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly all had to consent to the invocation of Article 50. In each case this was unanimously rejected by the court.

  • That polling does rather go against all of the other recent polling, including some very extensive polling in Scotland which is where this rally was taking place.

    Not sure of the relevance of your second post. This is about getting the public on board to get Parliament to admit that a vote on the deal is best for the country. It shouldn’t need the approval or otherwise of any of the devolved parliaments.

  • Sorry – my comment above looks confused, and it is. For some reason, not all of the previous comments were displaying for me, so I was reading out of context.

    Tony, I agree that the SNP are probably having a lot of internal discussion on this, and they are getting a lot of pressure from some quarters of the SNP membership to push for another independence referendum ASAP, and IMO the leadership are trying to stall on that, because the polling isn’t in their favour, not to mention the tension over the Growth Commission report.

    I don’t think they would like to admit to a referendum on the negotiated deal being necessary (think of the consequences for any future Indyref), but I suspect they’d be grateful if it were to happen. My instincts are that most of the SNP leadership know that it’s better for Scotland if the whole/rest of the UK are in the EU.

    I’ve always been wary of contacting my local SNP MP for a variety of reasons, not least that I sometimes have to deal with him through work and I don’t want him to know my politics, but being pro-EU isn’t exactly surprising, so you’ve persuaded me to give it a go!

  • Roger Roberts 19th Aug '18 - 9:41pm

    A separate poll organised by the 3 devolved parliaments could indicate the level of support for Brexit in each of those nations. Could this Tory government go ahead with its deal in spite of their possible opposition ?

  • Lord Jeff I often wondered where Brexiteers got their cut and paste material, in your case it’s the Sun. The same poll said over 55’s don’t believe in climate change. Mean while other polls that have been tracking the question show a gradual but decernable movement to a second vote. Hard as it is to accept, facts and reality are grinding your cult down. If Brexit does occur the grinding with intensive and squealing tis all the fault of the EU won’t cut it.

  • If I lived in Scotland, I would want to remain part of the UK and the EU. If it came to a choice, I would probably vote for the UK though capable of being persuaded otherwise. Being in the eu and not the uk, if it still existed would stretch my loyalty and perhaps I would rather be in neither.

  • Tony Hutson 20th Aug '18 - 7:52pm

    @Fiona 🙂 Good for you. For interest, I’ve now had a reply from my MP (Deirdre Brock). She talks a lot about the need to avoid a hard Brexit, attacks the govt handling of it, and then says: “The case for a confirmatory referendum is getting stronger. I have a lot of reservations about rerunning the vote but the Dark Money scandal, the clear evidence of the Leave campaigns overspending, the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the growing evidence thatclaims made by the Leave side were simply fantasy seem to be building a case for a rerun. No party or combination of parties has won an election with a pledge to hold such a referendum, however, and there is still some work to do on working out how we goforward.”
    It will be interesting to see if your MP’s reply is the same!

  • Tony Hutson 20th Aug '18 - 8:08pm

    Andrew – The two situations are completely different. In the Scottish referendum, a) the vote was fair and legal, and b) we voted No so there was therefore no Leave process on which people could later express an opinion. In the EU referendum, we now know that a) the leave campaign broke the law, and also b) that the Leave process has been – to put it mildly – controversial. So, a peoples vote on Brexit would be a new question about that process. Another referendum in Scotland would simply be a re-vote on the same question as before. Totally different situations.
    There’s also the question of public polling, which is very clearly pro Peoples Vote, and very clearly against indyref2. Fiona is right that this is problematic for the SNP, but at the end of the day I just can’t see them going into the lobbies with BoJo, JRF and the DUP to deny Scots a vote that is the only possible way to stop Brexit – which is deeply unpopular up here in all its forms. If they do that and then say ‘because they won’t give us indyref2’ that’ll be a terrible political gamble.

  • @ Fiona I was under the impression that Mike Russell, the SNP minister responsible for Brexit was reported as committing the SNP to a second referendum as long ago as 8 July.

  • @tonyhutson

    “The two situations are completely different….”

    The Indie referendum result has been followed by a major change of circumstances: EU withdrawal against Scottish voters clear wishes; undermining of the constitutional principles of devolution; reduction of the Scottish Parliament’s powers and so on. It’s a pity the Lib Dems aren’t more angry about that and doing something about it rather than maintaining the line that one second referendums good and another one is bad.

  • John Barrett 22nd Aug '18 - 9:55pm

    I think a number of people in the party in Scotland and the rest of the UK are being very selective in their attempts to justify the party line of No Second Referendum on Independence, but Yes to a second EU Referendum.

    I think it is fair to say that both sides in both referendums told a number of “porkies”.

    Naturally most of the comments on this site feel that Leave told the greatest whoppers and should not get away with that, but Remain were equally guilty and the decision to leave the EU makes the No to Independence line, that only by voting against independence could Scotland be guaranteed to remain in the EU, yet another whopper.

    Both sides of both arguments (on the EU and Scottish Independence) can make their cases for and against a second referendum on either issue, but our party, in arguing for no second referendum where we like the result and for a second referendum where we disagree with the result, will confirm to many, who do not support us already, that we cannot be trusted on such matters. The end result of this, amongst many other reasons, is our present low vote at recent elections and our poor standing in the opinion polls.

    Continuing to face both ways looks opportunistic and if I (who has been a party member for decades) don’t believe in our line, we should not be surprised that most people outside the party are not convinced by it either.

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