Scottish independence: Alister Jack brands indyref2 papers 'utter pish'

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has branded the Scottish Government’s independence papers “utter pish”, saying they should do their "proper day job" instead of trying to "break up the United Kingdom".

During a frank exchange in UK Parliament, Mr Jack said the SNP were not respecting the result of the 2014 independence referendum. He said the party’s continued campaigning on the issue acts as a "millstone" around the neck of Scotland's economy. It came after SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford opened a Commons debate on Scottish independence.

The SNP MP said: "The UK Government has been so consumed by their own political crisis that they have been too busy ignoring the economic crisis that they caused with their mini-budget on September 23. Not just ignoring it, but completely blind to the mess that they made. In the last ten days it has been hard not to notice that the Tory benches are in a state of excited relief that they got rid of a prime minister [Liz Truss], who managed to crash the UK economy in the space of 44 days.

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"In their great relief, they seem to have magically forgotten that they were the ones who put her in place, they were the ones that were cheering on her libertarian joyride until the very moment that she crashed the economy. They may have gotten rid of the prime minister they put in place, but for ordinary people the damage is already done."

Mr Jack said: "I fear their constant campaign, their neverendum campaign to leave the United Kingdom acts like a millstone around the neck of the Scottish economy."

He said the Scottish Government's independence papers had "provoked scorn from respected economic experts", before adding: "One prominent nationalist, and I apologise in advance for the unparliamentary language, but I quote, referred to the recent economy paper as 'utter pish'. The kindest thing I can do would be to move on without mention of these publications."

Mr Jack later expressed his utter disregard for the debate itself. He said: "I'd welcome a proper debate about the Scottish economy any day and this is not a serious debate. It is, I'm afraid, just another opportunity to dust off some of their old tired grievances."

His disdainful attitude towards the Scottish independence debate was shared by Labour and Lib Dem MPs.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford kicked off the debate on Scottish independenceSNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford kicked off the debate on Scottish independence
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford kicked off the debate on Scottish independence

Labour shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said: "When I learned and read this motion I got quite excited because I thought I might finally be agreeing with my SNP colleagues on one of their motions. It starts off rightly by highlighting the disastrous impacts of this Tory-created economic crisis, but I'm sorry to say it ends in a rather familiar way with the one-size-fits-all only answer to any question – independence.”

Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross), intervening, said: "I think the independence argument falls apart when it comes to the defence of this United Kingdom because there's nothing Vladimir Putin would like to see more than to see Scotland break away and our defences split in two."



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