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'Better the devil you know': Labour minister leaning towards Scotland staying in the UK

Ged Nash has become the first Irish government minister to express a view on Scottish independence.

Updated 6.13pm

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Video and editing: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie 

SUPER JUNIOR MINISTER Ged Nash has become the first Irish government minister to express a view on Scottish independence ahead of tomorrow’s referendum.

While the Taoiseach and ministers have frequently stated that independence is a matter for the Scottish people – a line echoed by Nash today – the Labour TD said he’d be concerned that the UK would “suffer” from years of a non-Labour governments if Scotland voted for independence tomorrow.

Nash, a minister for small business who sits at Cabinet, told TheJournal.ie: “If I was a Scottish citizen I may very well take the view that it’s better the devil you know.”

While the latest opinion polls indicate that unionists will triumph over nationalists in Scotland when the result emerges on Friday morning, the referendum is seen as too close to call with less than 24 hours before polls open.

The Louth TD said that from a political point of view he could understand why his colleagues in the British Labour Party want Scotland to remain as part of the United Kingdom.

Nash said: “Let’s be honest about it, the traditional support that the Labour Party always received in Scotland was always very important in electing a Labour prime minister into Number 10.

“The concern I would have would be that if Scotland decided to go it alone, that the entire UK might suffer from years of a government that would not be Labour.”

Nash said that irrespective of which way the vote goes there will be implications for the Ireland.

Earlier, Nash’s constituency colleague, the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said that he would “stay out” of the debate.

Meanwhile, the Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly said today that Ireland should support Scotland if it chooses independence, specifically in its bid to join the EU.

This evening, a government spokesperson said the impending vote in Scotland was discussed briefly at Cabinet today.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been working on scenarios that could arise in the case of a Yes or No vote and formulating advice on the implications, the spokesperson said.

Watch out for more from a wide-ranging interview with Ged Nash on TheJournal.ie tomorrow.

Read: Ask him any way you like, Gerry still isn’t weighing in on the Scottish Question

Read: Kay Burley caught calling Scottish campaigner a “knob” on Sky News

Explainer: Are we going to see an independent Scotland?

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Hugh O'Connell

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