Scotland politics

Election 2017: Labour 'clear' on independence referendum opposition

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Media captionMs Dugdale said Mr Corbyn had warned against independence every time he had been in Scotland

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has denied she and Jeremy Corbyn hold different positions on blocking a second independence referendum.

Ms Dugdale said Mr Corbyn was "absolutely and categorically" against Scottish independence.

The Labour leader said he would allow a second vote "if the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people want it".

But Ms Dugdale told the BBC the UK and Scottish Labour manifestos "could not be clearer" in opposing a referendum.

Responding to a question about independence on BBC Scotland's Ask The Leader programme, the Scottish Labour leader said: "I think it's very easy and clear to go and look this up in the Labour manifesto on our website.

"We think that a second independence referendum is unnecessary and unwanted. We don't support it and we don't support independence either.

"Why? I know what additional Tory austerity is doing right now. Take that and an additional £15bn of cuts on top of that and that's what you'd get with independence."

Image caption Ms Dugdale was appearing on the BBC's Ask The Leader programme

She said Mr Corbyn had warned against independence every time he had been in Scotland and told the programme it was "not correct" that they held fundamentally different positions.

"You picked one 10-second quote there," she said. "I'm pointing you to an entire record, a manifesto and a programme for government that says we're opposed to independence and a second independence referendum.

"It couldn't be clearer than that."

Section 30 order

Mr Corbyn said earlier on Tuesday: "What I've said is that if the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people want a referendum, they have the right to do that.

"That was the whole point of the devolution agreement of the 1990s.

"I think the referendum should take place, if there is to be one, after the Brexit negotiations are concluded because this is the most important thing."

But Ms Dugdale did not categorically say she would attempt to block a Section 30 order - the order allowing a second Scottish independence vote - if one came before the Scottish Parliament.

She said: "Both myself and Ruth Davidson actually, the leader of the Scottish Tories, have said if it was to get that far where you're in the position of having a Section 30 order you'd have agreed there was going to be a referendum and there'd be a negotiation between two governments of course.

"You'd be talking about a different situation in regards to blocking it."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that a vote should be held "not now, but when the final terms of the deal are known".

The SNP leader has previously called for a second vote on Scotland's constitutional future between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

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