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New Lib Dem leader won't back IndyRef2, candidates say

Jo Swinson and Sir Ed Davey told Scotland Tonight they would oppose the vote

Both candidates vying to be the next Liberal Democrat leader have ruled out backing a second independence referendum.

Speaking to Scotland Tonight, Scottish MP Jo Swinson, the frontrunner, said she would block it because "it's not the right thing for Scotland."

When asked why she supported a second vote on EU membership and opposed one on independence, the East Dunbartonshire MP said "there's a real momentum" building for a People's Vote, but not for IndyRef2.

She said: "We've had 6 million people signing a petition to revoke Article 50, we've had hundreds of thousands of people marching on the streets for a People's Vote, we've had 280 MPs, it's been the most popular option within the UK parliament.

"By contrast, you have the SNP, who lost seats in the 2017 general election, just after having called for IndyRef2.

"I think that was a very clear message that the public sent that they did not want more constitutional wrangling. People want them to get on with the job of governing Scotland."

The party's Deputy leader told STV's Political Editor Colin MacKay that campaigning to remain in the EU and in the UK was not only "consistent", but also representative of the Scottish opinion.

"55% of Scots voted to stay in the UK, 62% voted to stay in the EU. It's the Liberal Democrats who are making the case for this position and it's only the Liberal Democrats in Scotland that are doing that," she concluded. 

'It would be complete economic madness.'
Sir Ed Davey, Lib Dem leadership candidate

Sir Ed Davey, the other leadership contender, said to Scotland Tonight he wouldn't grant the powers to hold a second independence referendum, adding these would be piling chaos on top of the Brexit chaos.

The Kingston and Surbiton MP said an IndyRef2 would be "complete economic madness" and it would "undermine" Scottish and British businesses.

He said: "We have to sort out Brexit. It is a national catastrophe should it happen and as the Liberal Democrat leader I'd be focused on that."

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