MSPs voted by 69 to 59 in favour of seeking permission for a referendum before the UK leaves the EU. Commenting on the news, former Secretary of State for Scotland and MP for Orkney and Shetland Alistair Carmichael said:
“If this debate has shown us anything it’s that the SNP and Greens case for another independence referendum is weak. The SNP refuse to guarantee EU membership while the Greens still haven’t found that petition with one million names on it.
"There is growing anger amongst those of us who voted to remain part of the UK that the First Minister is using their vote to break up another union. She is using the EU to get her referendum but the referendum won’t get the EU. The First Minister can't use the EU to claim a mandate when her referendum won't take us back in. Brexit is not a trigger for another referendum, it is an excuse.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats stood on a manifesto in 2016 to oppose another divisive referendum and we will continue to do that. The SNP say they speak for Scotland. Unfortunately for the SNP Scotland spoke three years ago and told them no. Instead of hunting for division we need to sort out the problems on our doorstep.”