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Scottish independence: “home rule” should be considered, says Labor MSP

Alex Rowley, who represents Midland Scotland and Fife in the Scottish Parliament, said “all options” should be on the table, including devo max alongside yes and no options.

He told the Herald on Sunday that Scotland was in a “constitutional impasse” which was unsustainable.

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Scottish independence supporters hold a march and rally outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty

“It translates into bad government, rewards political parties for maintaining divisions, and so we have to find a way forward and fix it,” he said.

Mr Rowley said the division and healing of the nation could not be solved by ‘telling 50 per cent of the population that they were wrong’.

“The way forward must be an open, civil debate that looks at the issues and has all the options on the table,” he said.

“My own view is that the ‘home rule’ option should be considered part of the debate, but regardless, the significant and material change since 2014 means that the same binary choice is not more on the table.”

Party leader Anas Sarwar has always ruled out backing a second referendum and accused Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon of “pitting Scots against Scots”.

A Scottish Labor spokesperson said: “In the election, Nicola Sturgeon promised her priority would be our recovery from Covid. But, true to form, she returned to the politics of divisiveness and Scottish versus Scottish opposition.

“This is all a deliberate attempt to distract from his failures.

“Scottish Labor MSPs consistently point to the failure of his government to use the powers it already has to deal with the cost of living crisis, the pressures on our health services, the lack of action on our gap growing in education and failures in transport

“The next electoral contest in Scotland will not be a referendum – it will be a general election. It is an opportunity for change.

The SNP said Mr Rowley should change his ‘broken record’.

Rona MacKay told the Herald on Sunday that “nobody can trust” Scottish Labor to keep their word.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP said: ‘Scottish Labor made the same vow to Scotland in 2014 and then broke that promise.

“No one can trust them to keep their word this time.

“And no amount of constitutional tinkering would protect Scotland from Brexit disaster or the Tory-created cost of living crisis.

“The only way for Scotland to escape the corrosive control of Westminster is with the full powers of independence.

“However, Alex Rowley clearly recognizes Scotland’s right to choose its own future in a referendum, so he should demand that his boss, Anas Sarwar, abandon his Donald Trump policy of denying clear democratic election results delivered. by the people of this country.”

Constitutional expert Aileen McHarg, professor of public law and human rights at Durham University, said the chances of the Scottish government winning a court battle over a second independence referendum are “pretty slim “.

The comments come after Ms Sturgeon launched her new campaign for independence in Edinburgh on Tuesday, with preparations underway to hold another referendum in October 2023.

Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera