Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has claimed that Scotland cannot afford to become an independent nation from Britain.
Speaking to an audience of Scottish Labour MSPs and activists in Glasgow, he said that independence would be a serious mistake, leading to “turbocharged austerity and a glaring hole in the money required to fund essential services”.
Scotland has just seen a £15bn spending deficit after oil prices collapsed. Corbyn accused The Scottish National Party of surrendering to Tory tax cuts and big business due to their refusal to raise taxes but instead pushed through cuts to council budgets.
Sturgeon in response tweeted, “Rubbish. And if Corbyn wasn’t leading such a pitifully ineffective opposition, Tories wouldn’t be getting away with half of what they are”
The Scottish first minister recently said that a second independence referendum was “looming” following the decision to leave the EU single market.
Federal System for Britain
Corbyn supports Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale in her calls to restructure Britain along federal lines and devolved power to parliaments and regions instead of independence.
Corbyn said that Scotland has “the talent and ability to run its own affairs. Brexit provides us with the chance [to] fix a rigged system that doesn’t work for the majority of people. It is pointless to repatriate powers and resources from so-called faceless bureaucrats in Brussels if they are locked away in Downing Street.
“Labour’s mission in the 20th century was to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality. Our mission in the 21st century must build on that by also redistributing power, wealth and opportunity to every part of our regions and nations.”
Scottish voters according to polls are not keen on a second referendum. Thirty five percent of respondents backed a referendum in the next twelve months, with only forty five percent wanting independence, eight percent fewer than when it was at its peak.