A PARLIAMENTARY petition against a second independence referendum received over four-and-a-half times more support from Scotland than a campaign backing a new vote.

A geographical breakdown of petition backers reveals that 33,892 of 38,515 signatures supporting a second independence referendum came from Scotland, while 158,661 of 221,514 backing a rival campaign saying that it should not happen were from north of the border.

A Commons debate came about because of the two petitions from the public, the one against a second independence referendum reached the required level – 100,000 signatures - meaning there was a presumption that it would be discussed at Westminster.

The Westminster Hall debate, was led by Martyn Day, the SNP MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk and a member of the Petitions Committee who said the SNP would be “quite happy” to block the UK from leaving the European Union.

He said: "There was significantly more signed a petition opposing independence that signed the one in favour of. However, what's more important in the debate is democratic mandate.


"Without any doubt the strongest argument by constituents opposed to another independence referendum has basically been that the matter has been determined before and 'no means no'. However, I would point out in response to that that circumstances change, and people have the democratic right to revisit any decision or policy at any time that they wish to do in any election that comes up.

"No amount of huffing and puffing at Westminster here will decide whether Scotland is to become independent or not, it won't even be decided by who shouts the loudest in Scotland, it will be decided by the Scottish people and at a time of their choosing."

One of the voices against a second referendum was the Scottish Secretary David Mundell who said he was "surprised" less than half of the SNP MPs had attended the Commons debate.


"Let's make it clear that it is on the record before we hear the next conspiracy, that only two or three SNP MPs got to speak while Unionists crowded them out, it was a choice. It was a choice not to take part in this debate."

He added: "The message from this debate, from this petition, from everything we have heard.. is we cannot be complacent. We must make the case for the United Kingdom all the time.

A former contender in the race to become SNP deputy leader said a second independence referendum will be held if the UK Government don’t concede to demands to devolve Brexit powers to Scotland.

Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard said during that an agreement between the UK and Scottish governments was only one option.

He added: “The other option is that the UK Government will ignore the representations of Scotland, and they will overrule them and proceed regardless.

“In those latter circumstances, I tell you here today that the mandate from 2016 is still there.

“And it will be executed, because we will give the people of Scotland a right to decide whether they want to have the isolationist economic chaos that Brexit represents, or whether they want to revisit the decision taken in 2014 – and this time decide that they would be better off taking matters into their own hands and taking back control to Scotland.”

HeraldScotland: ALEX SALMOND: Scotland’s First Minister is pushing for full independence from the United Kingdom

Meanwhile First Minister Alex Salmond has said Nicola Sturgeon is prepared to call a second vote on leaving the UK shortly after Britain leaves the European Union.

Mr Salmond, who led a failed bid for Scottish independence three years ago, said the current First Minister would have to call for a second referendum swiftly if Britain left the single market in a Hard Brexit - often interpreted as resulting in the giving up of full access to the single market and the removal of the right of freedom of movement between countries.

"If it's a hard Brexit we are going to have a very sharp timescale," Mr Salmond said in an interview, adding that Ms Sturgeon would move quickly to help Scotland "avoid" the effects of Britain leaving the single market without a transition deal in place.

In a parliamentary statement made to MSPs at the end of June, Ms Sturgeon said she was persisting with plans for a second referendum that could be launched next year.


The First Minister told MSPs she will “reset” the timetable for another referendum, which she originally wanted between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, but later said it was still "likely" another vote would be held before the May 2021 Scottish Parliament election.

She has since said she did not have a timescale for a second vote.

The SNP lost 21 of the 56 Westminster seats it had gained in its landslide election in 2015. Those who lost their seats included Mr Salmond and Angus Robertson, its Westminster leader and one of the most high profile figures in the House of Commons.

In September, a Survation poll indicated support for Scottish independence had gained ground over the summer, climbing three points to 46 per cent since June.

The first petition calling for there not to be another vote on Scotland’s future, read: “We in Scotland are fed up of persecution by the SNP leader who is solely intent on getting independence at any cost. As a result, Scotland is suffering hugely.”

The second petition which said there should be a second Scottish independence referendum, read: “The actions of the UK Government after the Brexit vote do not align with the people of Scotland. We are not bigoted. We are not racist. We welcome everybody based on their contribution, not on where they come from. The UK Government does not behave in this way and so we must leave.”