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Jo Swinson vows to revoke Article 50 on day one of Lib Dem government

The party leader was speaking during a visit to the Guru Nanak Sikh temple in Glasgow on Thursday.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson during a visit to the Guru Nanak Temple in Glasgow on the General Election campaign trail (Jane Barlow/PA)
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson during a visit to the Guru Nanak Temple in Glasgow on the General Election campaign trail (Jane Barlow/PA)

By Lewis McKenzie, PA Scotland Political Reporter

Jo Swinson has pledged to revoke Article 50 on day one of her premiership if she is elected to Number 10.

Speaking to the PA news agency on a visit to the Guru Nanak Sikh temple in Glasgow on Thursday, the Liberal Democrat leader said stopping Brexit would mean greater investment could be made in areas such as the health service, childcare and tackling the climate emergency.

She said leaving the European Union would make it harder to focus on other such priorities.

She said: “The Liberal Democrats have been very clear – we want to remain in the European Union.

“We are an internationalist party and so a Liberal Democrat majority government would revoke Article 50 on day one.

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Jo Swinson, second right, visited the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Glasgow on the General Election campaign trail (Jane Barlow/PA)

“We could stop Brexit and get on with building a brighter future, which would be more money for our NHS, in particular our mental health services, more money to give children the best start in life in our schools and helping more parents with the unaffordable costs of childcare, as well as tackling the climate emergency so that we can protect this beautiful and wonderful planet that we have and hand it on to the next generation, and not polluted and damaged.

“There’s a huge amount of priorities we want to be getting on to dealing with and of course, Brexit makes all of those things harder.”

Ms Swinson also outlined her opposition to a second referendum on Scottish independence.

“I’m very clear I think Scotland is best in the United Kingdom,” she said.

“I want Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom for very much the same reasons I want the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union.

“We work better when we are closely together with our nearest neighbours, where we share values and we share economic interests.

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Ms Swinson met with those in attendance at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple (Jane Barlow/PA)

“So I want Scotland to stay in the UK, I do not want another independence referendum, Liberal Democrats will not support indyref2.”

Earlier this week, the Lib Dems announced they are taking legal action against ITV over the broadcaster’s exclusion of Ms Swinson from a televised leaders’ debate in the run-up to the December 12 election.

On Wednesday, the SNP said it would also be taking action against the broadcaster over the exclusion of leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Swinson stressed the importance of including a voice for Remain in the debates.

She said: “We are looking at all avenues, we’re taking legal action because we believe it’s absolutely unacceptable for the voice of millions of people in this country who want to remain in the European Union to be excluded from those debates.

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Ms Swinson said leaving the EU makes it difficult to focus on investing in key areas like health and climate change (Jane Barlow/PA)

“It’s not a debate if you just have Leave debating Leave. The voice of Remain needs to be there and that’s why we’re taking that to court for myself, as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, to be represented in those debates.”

Speaking about Ms Sturgeon’s call to also be include in the debates, Ms Swinson added: “She (Ms Sturgeon) can make her own case, but I would say very clearly that the Liberal Democrats are standing right across Great Britain, we are fielding candidates, we have a chance of forming the next government.

“That’s obviously not the same for the SNP so I think the issues are different, the SNP will make their own case, but our legal action is very clear – we are the strongest, biggest party of Remain and we deserve to be in those debates.”

PA

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