Rumbles warning on EU

North East Scotland MSP Mike Rumbles has issued an EU warning to the First Minister
North East Scotland MSP Mike Rumbles has issued an EU warning to the First Minister

North East Scotland MSP Mike Rumbles has warned the First Minister against setting up “EU strawmen” to pave the way for a second referendum on independence for Scotland.

Speaking as Nicola Sturgeon made a speech on Scotland and the EU in Edinburgh, Mr Rumbles said that she must honour her commitment to work in good faith with people across the UK to get the best deal for Scotland and the rest of the country.

The Liberal Democrat said: “I was angry at the referendum result and Lib Dems joined with the SNP and others across the chamber at Holyrood to give the First Minister a mandate to work with the UK government to protect our relationship with the EU.

“But setting up straw men to pave the way for a possible second independence referendum will not help deliver the sort of deal that Scotland and the UK needs.”

He added: “The fact that talks with the UK government and our EU partners are ongoing is welcome. But the First Minister needs to ensure that these are not set up to fail.

“I do not expect the First Minister to stop supporting independence. But I do expect her to honour her commitment to work with others in good faith. She will have my support if she does so. But focusing on independence would risk breaking the consensus that emerged following the Brexit vote.”