Labour deputy Watson voices indyref2 opposition

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Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has spoken out against a second Scottish independence referendum, after shadow chancellor John McDonnell said a future Labour government would not block another vote.

"Last year Richard Leonard our Scottish leader said: "We want to be absolutely clear to the people of Scotland that there is no case for a second independence referendum".

The outgoing general secretary, the son of former Labour MP Frank Roy, said: "After 12 years working for the Labour Party, under four UK Labour leaders and seven Scottish leaders, it is time for me to move on to new challenges". We have our policy, we have said we will campaign for Remain against a damaging Tory deal or a no deal in a referendum.

"Labour opposes another referendum and the turbo-charged austerity in Scotland that leaving the United Kingdom would cause, with the inevitable threat to thousands of jobs and livelihoods". It does, and badly.

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Mr Watson said on Sunday night Labour would strongly oppose a second vote following remarks made by John McDonnell, who said the party would not block proposals should they be put forward by Holyrood.

The move comes after a hard period for the party over its position on a second independence referendum.

"More nationalism, more uncertainty, and more division isn't the answer".

Appearing on Sky Australia, Ms Thornberry said: 'When I've been talking to people here in Australia...what's really come home to me is that one of the reasons for the increased success of the Australian economy...is that you increased your trade with your closest neighbours, and yet in Britain what we're doing is walking away from our closest neighbours and our biggest trading allies.

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"There are other views within the party but that's our view".

The shadow foreign secretary used an interview in Australia to say that if the United Kingdom got a chance to stay in the European Union "we should take it" because of the potential damage to trade.

Around a third (32%) of the 2,003 adults questioned by Opinium said the UK Government should prevent another referendum, with the remainder saying they did not know or choosing neither option.

His comments come as former prime minister Gordon Brown warned the United Kingdom could "sleepwalk into" a split because of the rise in "toxic nationalism" as the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues on the path to a no-deal Brexit.

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