31 January 2020

Commenting on Britain leaving the EU, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: "Britain is leaving the European Union today.

"I campaigned to stay in the EU.

"Had Labour won the recent general election, we would have given the final say back to the people, and I would be campaigning in that referendum to remain.

"Scotland is at a crossroads, as Boris Johnson pursues a hard-right Tory Brexit based on a narrow English nationalism, and Nicola Sturgeon tells us the only alternative is a separate Scottish state.

"But there is another way.

"I firmly believe that the only way to bring our divided country together is in establishing a new Home Rule principle fit for the twenty first century.

"That would mean that in the wake of Brexit all that can be devolved is devolved, and not just to the Scottish Parliament but to local government and to local communities across Scotland.

"It is a vision of a modern 2020 Home Rule which recognises that we need to radically redistribute wealth and power by tackling inequalities, rather than simply reproducing them in a separate Scottish state.

"And as we leave the European Union, we must today pledge to renew Scotland’s commitment to international solidarity, to welcoming refugees and to standing firmly against racism and intolerance.

"Some of my earliest political action was through the anti-racist movement, and we must re-build and re-energise that movement so it can take on the new guises adopted by the old prejudices.

"By bringing power as close as possible to the people, we can heal the divisions in our country, build mutual understanding and support between our communities, and build a fairer, welcoming and tolerant Scotland."
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