Speaking in the chamber today the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for the North East, Mike Rumbles, reinforced commitments put before parliament to safeguard Scotland’s place within both the UK and the EU.
Mr Rumbles and the Scottish Liberal Democrats backed a motion tabled by the Scottish Government to secure Scotland’s place in the EU, and added their weight to Conservative calls to ensure Scotland’s place within the UK is also protected.
Mr Rumbles challenged conservative MSPs to do the right thing, he said: “Members should know that there is not a member in this chamber that is more pro UK than myself and if the tory amendment fails tonight could they not unite with members from across the entire chamber to support the government especially when the First Minister said that a vote for her motion is emphatically not a vote for an independence referendum.”
Later, he added: “I want to make our position absolutely clear. Scotland’s future lies within both the UK and the EU. That means safeguarding our relationships with our neighbours both south of the border and across the North Sea.
“Communities in the North East are affected more than most by us breaking away from the EU. Market turmoil has created more uncertainty for the oil and gas sector, and our farming and fishing industries are inextricably linked to EU support.
“While I’m delighted the majority of people across the North East voted to remain, and respect the views of those who did not, I will now be working to ensure the North East gets the best deal from our relationship within the UK and the EU.
“Over the coming months the Liberal Democrats nationally will be campaigning hard to convince people in the North East and across the country that leaving the EU is not in the best interests of our country, and at the next general election we will be advocating that our membership of the EU is restored.”