Scottish council umbrella body Cosla has given its support to calls for second referendum on the Brexit deal and the possibility of remaining in the EU.
The decision to back a People’s Vote was taken at a meeting of council leaders in Edinburgh.
Cosla president councillor Alison Evison urged politicians to “do the right thing” at the Commons vote on the Withdrawal Agreement next week, which Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to get approved.
Well said @AlisonEvison “A People’s Vote is a practical way to get out of the constitutional crisis we are in.”
Delighted to have joined Council Leaders today from across Scotland in defending our EU citizenship. 💪🇪🇺 https://t.co/YMBvFXBmdg
— Cllr Adam McVey (@adamrmcvey) November 30, 2018
Ms Evison said Cosla campaigned for Remain during the EU referendum and is “deeply worried” about the current situation.
“A big hit on our economy will mean an increase in local poverty, fewer resources locally to plan and deliver our services, no structured programme to support our local economies and real threats to all aspects of our import and export trade,” she said.
“The bottom line is that we must not end up with a no-deal by default.
“A no-deal would cause real pain in communities right across Scotland so all politicians have to come forward and do the right thing – and that includes the UK Parliament on December 11.
“A People’s Vote is a practical way to get out of the constitutional crisis we are in.”
@theSNP group amendment passed to commit @COSLA as the collective voice for Scottish local government to support a #PeoplesVote, suspension of Article 50 & a way out of the disaster that Brexit will inflict on our communities. Interestingly, Labour voted with the Tories against.
— Susan Aitken (@SusaninLangside) November 30, 2018
Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said the decision “sends a very powerful message from Scotland’s local authorities”.
She added: “Councils across Scotland are facing huge cuts and the last thing we need is Brexit harming our economy and leading to further austerity, putting more valued services at risk.
“There is an alternative to Theresa May’s bad deal and no deal – it’s a People’s Vote with the option of keeping the best deal we currently have as a member of the EU.
Scotland for a People’s Vote campaign leader John Edward also welcomed the announcement.
“The momentum for a People’s Vote is building and the support of council leaders the length and breadth of Scotland is welcome and extremely encouraging,” he said.
“Over the coming days, all MPs must ask themselves: Is the Withdrawal Agreement better than the deal we’ve already got inside the EU?
“If they cannot look their constituents in the eye and say it is, they must vote this deal down and then hand the decision back to the people.”