Falkirk Council: Councillors clash on Indyref 2 proposals

A Falkirk Conservative councillor has hit out at the prospect of another referendum, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon relaunched the case for Scottish Independence.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 17th June 2022, 7:00 am

In a speech earlier this week, Ms Sturgeon said the SNP is planning to publish a series of papers that address the challenges of becoming independent, including curren cy and infrastructure.

“After everything that has happened – Brexit, Covid, Boris Johnson – it is time to set out a different and better vision,” she said.

The first paper to be published laid out examples of countries that are of a similar size, or smaller, than Scotland – Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Sweden, Austria, Belgium and Finland.

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Councillor James Bundy

Ms Sturgeon said the paper showed that “the evidence is overwhelming that these countries – now and over time – perform better than the UK”.

However, Conservative councillor James Bundy, who represents Falkirk North, was unimpressed.

He said: “Nicola Sturgeon is talking about breaking up our country to distract us from the failures of her SNP Government, including catastrophic cuts to local government funding.

“Whilst the SNP talk about this, we in the Falkirk Conservatives will continue to focus on taking and delivering local action on local issues.”

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn

But Falkirk SNP group leader Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn backed her party leader.

She said: “Independence is the way in which Scotland can make better decisions for the people who live, work and choose to make their home here in our communities.

“As a council group, we are committed to making progress here in Falkirk district and delivering on our priorities locally. But we also understand that the context within which we sit and how decisions made in the UK parliament, good or bad, impact on the ability for our people, families, businesses and communities to thrive.

“Despite what others may say, we are not living in the “status quo” situation of 2014. The UK has changed, and it is increasingly evident that Scotland’s priorities are not important enough for the UK government to register an interest.

“If other small countries can be healthier, wealthier and happier than the UK, then why not Scotland? The least we can do is let our people have those conversations and make an informed decision.”