Nicola Sturgeon brands Leave voters ‘hard-line Brexit ultras’ as she demands second vote

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NICOLA STURGEON launched a furious attack on Leave voters branding them “hard-line Brexit ultras” as she officially launched the SNP’s election campaign in Edinburgh on Friday.

The Scottish First Minister launched her SNP party’s campaign in Edinburgh on Friday and blasted the Conservative Party for having “ridden roughshod” over the Scottish Parliament. She used her speech to rail against “so-called ‘moderate’ Conservatives” and “hard-line Brexit ultras” in a scathing rant. The First Minister said: “Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU has been ignored.

“For the first time ever, the UK Government has chosen to legislate on devolved matters without the consent of Holyrood.

“With so-called ‘moderate’ Conservatives in full retreat and the hard-line Brexit ultras on the march, that is surely only a taste of what is to come.”

But she said a vote for the SNP on December 12 is a vote to put Scotland’s future “firmly in Scotland’s hands”.

She went on: “Westminster’s priorities can be summed up in just three words – Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. A vote for the SNP, in contrast, is a vote to escape Brexit. A vote for the SNP is a vote to take Scotland’s future out of the hands of Boris Johnson and a broken Westminster system.”

Confronted by ITV’s Robert Peston on whether she would work with Jeremy Corbyn to prevent Boris Johnson from forming a new Government after the next general election, Ms Sturgeon admitted she would be looking to form new alliances in Westminster.

Mr Peston asked: “You are seeking a Westminster alliance to keep the Tories out of Government. Does that mean that you are seeking to put Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10?

“You’ve also just said that you think that Boris Johnson would never support an independence referendum. So are there circumstances in which you would support a Boris Johnson Government?”

She replied: “No. In a word. Can I just make clear that the SNP’s position is that if there is a hung Parliament in this election, which in many ways it is potentially the best outcome for Scotland because it gives us significant influence and power in that scenario, I don’t get to choose the leaders of the UK political parties.

“I think it’s fair to say that if I did, none of the current incompetents would be in those positions. That’s my way of saying I’m not a fan of Jeremy Corbyn but we have to work with what we have before us.

“I would never support a Conservative Government. I can’t foresee the SNP being in a formal coalition, but we would look as we said in the previous general elections to form alliances that would keep the Tories out of power.”

Speaking at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, the First Minister said her intention remains to hold a second referendum on independence next year.

She said: “The SNP already has a cast-iron mandate for an independence referendum, based on our explicit manifesto pledge for the 2016 Holyrood election.

“The question must be to Boris Johnson and to Westminster: What gives you the right to block the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland?

“That is an undemocratic, untenable and unsustainable position.”

Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly demanded Scotland be given the chance to vote again on independence, as they first rejected to leave the UK on the grounds Scotland’s place in the European Union would be preserved.

The Scottish First Minister said: “Scotland didn’t vote for independence in 2014 – in case you haven’t noticed, Scotland is not independent right now.

“That vote was respected but circumstances change and people have the right to change their mind. In a democracy, people always have the right to change their minds.

“In that referendum, we were told we had to reject independence to protect our place in the European Union and now we’re being taken out against our will. People, in a democracy, when circumstances change, have every right to consider and reconsider their decisions.”

In the 2016 Brexit referendum, Scotland voted 62 percent to Remain compared to 53.4 percent and 52.5 percent to leave in England and Wales respectively.

Polling expert Sir John Curtice suggested substantial gains in Scotland could be possible for Ms Sturgeon’s SNP at the upcoming general election.

Sir John said: “Somewhere around 45 to 50 seats for the SNP at the moment seems perfectly possible.”

Recent opinion polls have given the SNP around 40 percent of the Scottish vote an almost 20-point lead of the Tories and Scottish Labour Party.

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