Yes independence movement 'belongs to the Scottish people', says new party chief

The Yes movement in Scotland does “not belong to one party" and independence must provide a platform to to fix the "broken" Holyrood and Westminster systems, a former SNP MSP has claimed.

Former Nationalist MSP Chic Brodie and Scotia Future co-founder Andy Doig
Former Nationalist MSP Chic Brodie and Scotia Future co-founder Andy Doig

Chic Brodie now leads the newly-formed Scotia Future party, which will contest seats across Scotland in constituencies and on the regional list at next May’s Holyrood election.

The party's key platform is opposition to rejoining the EU after independence, which he characterises as immediately surrendering Scotland's new won sovereignty to a "bureaucratic monolith" in Brussels.

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The addition of Scotia Future to the regional list ballot next year will sit alongside the SNP, the Alliance for Independence headed up by another former SNP Dave Thompson, as well as the Yes-supporting Greens, prompting concerns the pro-independence vote could be split, undermining the case for a second referendum.

But Mr Brodie said: "I don't think it does - I think it enhances it in terms of the wider spectrum of people with different views who all want independence.

"I think it's a matter of integrity to say ‘here's what we do when we are independent’."

He added: "The Yes movement does not just belong to one party. It belongs to the Scottish people. It actually touches a much wider spectrum of the independence argument."

Consistent polling since the turn of the year shows a majority of Scots now back independence, but Scottish Secretary Alister Jack this week ruled out another referendum for up to 40 years.

But Mr Brodie says a majority of pro-independence of MSPs being returned next May should bring Boris Johnson to the table to agree terms for a repeat of the 2014 vote.

"That's certainly the trigger for saying to Mr Johnson 'right, we want another independence referendum'," Mr Brodie said.

“But in that we have to be clear that it's not just about independence. We have to tell people what we're going to do - to be clear about our vision for Scotland."

The prospect of immediate re-entry into the European Union is the key issue that divides Scotia Future from the SNP. The treatment of Greece during the financial crisis, when crippling austerity was imposed by the EU troika, should serve as a warning to a smaller nations like Scotland.

"Yes we believe it's better to have independence, but not to give away your sovereignty once you've got that, saying 'oh, we're going to join Europe’,” Mr Brodie said.

"We don't understand why you would demand independence and then surrender that to another over-centralised, decision-making bureaucracy."

And within Scotland, the new party wants to see a federal system of local councils amid concerns that too much power lies at Holyrood as well as Westminster.

"The Westminster and Holyrood systems are broken," Mr Brodie claims.

"There really isn't enough engagement with communities.

"There's too much of a blame culture – ‘this is what Holyrood is doing, this what Westminster is doing'. What we need is powerful representative Government at the right level. I don't think we've got that just now."

"If you take some of the levers off and give them the legal powers to do certain things, I'm sure that we'd see a drift towards a much more competitive, socially just, economically just organisation within the country."

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