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MSP's 'deep concern' over EU funding shortfall for Highlands

By Gavin Musgrove

The Scottish Parliament has voted in support of the Scottish Government's proposal for a fresh independence referendum to take place later this year.

The motion was agreed after a debate yesterday afternoon at Holyrood with backing coming from the SNP and Green MSPs.

It calls on the UK Government to reach an agreement with the Scottish Government on a referendum taking place and, on a date, determined by the Scottish Parliament.

Maree Todd, SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has welcomed the support for IndyRef2.

She said: “This vote in parliament yesterday reaffirms the outcome of last month’s general election and the will of the Scottish people.

“It’s time for the UK Government to recognise the Scottish Government's mandate for a fresh independence referendum by transferring the relative powers to the Scottish Parliament.”

The MSP has pointed to a recent poll conducted by Survation between January 20 – 22 which found that 61 per cent of Scots backed Holyrood deciding on whether to hold an independence referendum, compared to only 39 per cent who thought Westminster should decide.

Ms Todd said: “It is democratically wrong for the UK Government to continue denying Scotland of its right to self-determination. The longer Boris Johnson’s government denies the inevitable, the more contempt they show for Scotland.

“This Friday, Scotland will crash out of the EU despite displaying a clear desire to remain over the last 4 years.

“That verdict was first delivered in the referendum back in 2016; it was reinforced in the general election in 2017, it was strengthened in the European election last year, and it was emphatically confirmed last month.

“The Highland and Islands economy has benefited from an estimated £1 billion of EU funding over the years.

"I find it deeply concerning that it is now up to this Tory government to compensate - or not - for the loss of EU support."

But Scottish Conservatives regional MSP Edward Mountain MSP said the independence issue was decided for a generation in 2014.

He continued: "Talking about flags and referendums won’t solve our NHS, education or climate emergencies.

"It is about time Mrs Todd and her Government got on with doing the day job.”

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