Alan Reid

Lib­eral Democrats, Argyll and Bute

The Oban Times - - Election Special -

I was the lo­cal MP when the in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum took place and am op­posed to an­other one. The first one gave a clear ver­dict against in­de­pen­dence and there’s no point in do­ing it again.

As an MP, I saw at first hand how noth­ing got done dur­ing the run-up to the ref­er­en­dum and we can’t af­ford to spend an­other two years de­bat­ing the same thing. Ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards in Scot­land are slip­ping badly and the NHS needs more in­vest­ment. We should be con­cen­trat­ing on these mat­ters and for­get about hav­ing an­other very di­vi­sive ref­er­en­dum.

We also need to spend time get­ting the right out­come for Scot­land from the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions. Our exit from the EU should be as soft as pos­si­ble. We should keep our mem­ber­ship of the cus­toms union and the sin­gle mar­ket.

Farm­ing and croft­ing in Argyll is a pre­car­i­ous ex­is­tence even with pay­ments from the EU’s Com­mon Agri­cul­tural Pol­icy. When we leave the CAP, the Scot­tish Govern­ment should con­tinue to make these pay­ments, in the in­ter­ests of both food se­cu­rity and main­tain­ing the ru­ral econ­omy.

Farm­ers, fish­er­men and other busi­nesses must keep the right to sell their pro­duce into the EU with­out pe­nal­is­ing tar­iffs.

Hav­ing fin­ished in clear sec­ond place in 2015, I am well placed to over­take the SNP and re­gain the seat. My first act would be to tell the SNP that my re- elec­tion had demon­strated there is no de­sire in Argyll and Bute for an­other in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

I would also, as I did be­fore, hold surg­eries in ev­ery vil­lage.

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