Kezia Dugdale: I could vote for Scottish independence

Posted On: 
1st April 2016

Kezia Dugdale has said it is "not inconceivable" she could vote for Scottish independence if Britain votes to leave the EU.

Kezia Dugdale has hinted she could vote for Scottish independence
PA Images

The Scottish Labour leader said she would "do whatever I could to preserve and promote" Scotland's place in the EU, even if it meant breaking away from the UK.

In an interview with the Fabian Review, Ms Dugdale also spoke publicly about her sexuality for the first time and revealed she has "a female partner".

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But it is her comments on Scotland's constitutional future which will provoke the most shock.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said a second referendum on Scottish independence will be "almost inevitable" if Scotland votes to stay in the EU but Britain as a whole votes to leave.

Asked what her own position would be if the only way to guarantee Scotland's membership of the EU was to go it alone, Ms Dugdale said: "I see tremendous benefits from the EU to Scotland, so I would do whatever I could to preserve and promote that. The same argument applies to the UK. I would very much like both those unions to stay.”

On whether she could argue against the UK so Scotland could stay in the EU, she replied: "Possibly. It’s not inconceivable."

Her comments are significant because Labour's collapse in Scotland has been largely attributed to the party's decision to campaign with the Conservatives against independence in the 2014 referendum.

On her private life, Ms Dugdale said: “I have a female partner. I don’t talk about it very much because I don’t feel I need to. And there’s something too about how meteoric my career has been.

"I am generally calm, almost serene. I don’t get easily stressed or battered. But I need a bit of stability to do that, and that means my private life is my private life. That’s the thing I just have to have that nobody gets to touch, and that gives me the strength to be calm elsewhere."