SNP must explain to Scots why they want independence, says Black

SNP must explain to Scots why they want independence, says Black

Mhairi Black
Mhairi Black

The SNP’s new Westminster deputy leader has said her party needs to do more to explain why it wants Scotland to be independent.

Mhairi Black was elected alongside new leader Stephen Flynn earlier this month after longtime incumbent Ian Blackford resigned.

Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Ms Black said she would only consider running as his deputy after hearing Mr Flynn’s vision for the SNP group in the House of Commons.

MEPs, she said, have three main goals; to hold the British government to account, to represent their constituents and to explain to Scots why independence would be good for the country.

“You know we support independence and not why. We need to do more to explain that it’s not just a random hobby, it’s a purpose,” she told the newspaper.

Stephen Flynn
The SNP’s Westminster leader, Stephen Flynn, was elected earlier this month (House of Commons/PA)

The Scottish Government is in the process of publishing a series of papers aimed at explaining the policy of an independent Scotland, three of which have already been produced.

Ms Black’s comments come as the sixth straight poll showed majority support for leaving the UK as a sustained upsurge for the Yes cause continues after the Supreme Court ruling Holyrood is unable to legislate for a referendum on independence.

A panelbase poll of 1,004 Scots for the Sunday Times found that 52% of voters supported independence.

As for why she decided to run for deputy, Ms Black said: “I never really intended to run for deputy but it came about after some good talks.

“It just sounded like something really positive and if I could play a part in it I would be very honored to do so.

“It was more like when Stephen was talking to me about his vision of how things could look, how they could be, I just thought, ‘That sounds really refreshing.’

“I know Stephen is basically hoping to refocus on why we’re all there, to build on the work that was done not only by Ian Blackford but also by Angus Robertson before him.”

She also praised the new leader, saying: “I’m really excited. I think he’s incredibly motivated, full of energy and very, very focused.

“I believe him when he says ‘this is what I want to do’.

“He took everyone’s views into account, which to me is leadership material if you’re able to bring people with you.”

Responding to Sunday’s poll results, SNP Deputy Chair Keith Brown said there was a “growing sense” of independence in the country.

“The people of Scotland have demonstrated their support for a referendum by delivering the largest majority ever of pro-independence MSPs in the Holyrood 2021 election,” he added.

“With every new poll released, the position of the mainstream parties in Westminster becomes even more untenable – Scots must and will be given the opportunity to decide their future.”

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