Statement on the EU Referendum Result

I firmly believe that Scotland and West Dunbartonshire are better off as partners with our European neighbours, and we have voted firmly and clearly to remain in the European Union.
As the Member of the UK Parliament for West Dunbartonshire I want to send a clear message to our community and to local businesses and investors that I am delighted with Scotland’s result which comes from a positive campaign for membership, though I hugely regret that the UK is in the position that it is.

Critically, my position remains that with such a clear pro-EU vote in Scotland in contrast to the UK wide result, our removal from the European Union against our will is democratically unacceptable to our sovereign people; the First Minister has made it clear that all options are now on the table to protect our European Union status, including a second independence referendum.

The Scottish Government will now introduce legislation in the Scottish Parliament to facilitate a second independence referendum, a move which will be welcomed by not only those who voted YES in West Dunbartonshire in 2014, but I believe also by many who voted NO on the promise that it was the only way to protect our EU membership.

I also want to send a particular message to European Union citizens living in West Dunbartonshire, who make a huge contribution to our community; working hard, paying taxes and contributing to our civic and cultural life. You are welcome here. We value the enormous contribution you make to our community and we will fight to make sure that this will not change as a result of this referendum.

The First Minister, with the support of all Parties in the Scottish Parliament, with the exception of the Conservatives, has taken immediate and decisive action to secure Scotland’s relationship with the European Union, including meeting with key European figures in Brussels.

Nicola Sturgeon has been clear; Independence is not the starting point and all options are on the table to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU. An expert panel with a breadth of expertise and political views will be formed to advise the Government and Parliament on the best way forward to protect Scotland’s interests.

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