Stur­geon: We have indyref2 man­date

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY TOM TOR­RANCE

FIRST Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon has in­sisted the SNP has a “cast-iron” man­date to hold an­other in­de­pen­dence vote, as she warned Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son has “no right to block the demo­cratic wishes of the peo­ple of Scot­land”. Launch­ing the SNP’s Gen­eral Elec­tion cam­paign at Dy­namic Earth in Edinburgh, Ms Stur­geon 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.” She added the Con­ser­va­tive Party has “rid­den roughshod” over the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment. “Scot­land’s vote to re­main in the EU has been ig­nored,” she said. “For the first time, 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 hard­line 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 added: “West­min­ster’s pri­or­i­ties can be summed up in three words – Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. “A vote for the SNP, in con­trast, is a vote to es­cape Brexit. ” The SNP ear­lier promised to in­tro­duce a bill to pro­tect the NHS from any fu­ture trade deals with for­eign na­tions, in­clud­ing Amer­ica. Ms Stur­geon said: “We will fight tooth and nail any at­tempt to ex­pose the Na­tional Health Ser­vice to a post-Brexit trade deal with Don­ald Trump. “That’s why, af­ter the elec­tion, SNP MPs will bring for­ward a new law – an NHS pro­tec­tion bill – to ex­plic­itly pro­tect the NHS in all four coun­tries of the UK from be­com­ing a bar­gain­ing chip in fu­ture trade deals. “It would pre­vent com­pa­nies from tak­ing le­gal ac­tion through in­vest­ment pro­tec­tion or in­vestor-state dis­pute res­o­lu­tion mech­a­nisms. “It would en­sure con­fi­den­tial dis­counts for ex­pen­sive medicines would not be at risk.”

Ni­cola Stur­geon said her in­ten­tion re­mains to hold a ref­er­en­dum next year

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