Scotland 'worse off' with independence says Alister Jack
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Mr Jack was speaking as pressure mounted on the SNP with Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross pushed for motions of no confidence in First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her deputy John Swinney in relation to their handling of sexual harassment allegations against Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor as leader, Alex Salmond. Mr Jack made his remarks in response to a question in the Commons by former Tory Minister Alun Cairns.
Mr Cairns asked: “Does Mr Jack agree that the benefits of the Union of four nations have really come to the fore over the last 12 months in that the strength of the UK Government’s balance sheet has meant that families, businesses and individuals in all parts of the UK have been able to benefit from the strength of that balance sheet?
“But also, that the devolved administrations have received the resources that they need also to support people in all parts of the country?”
Mr Jack responded: “Well, Mr Cairns is absolutely correct and more importantly, the majority of people in Scotland agree with him as well.
“Not only did they emphatically reject independence in 2014, but the most recent opinion polls show that they’ve realised that neither the SNP nor its leader can be trusted and that independence would make everyone in Scotland significantly worse off.”
Four recent polls have indicated narrow majorities against independence.
A Savanta ComRes survey indicated 46 percent would vote no in a second referendum, compared with 43 percent who would vote yes.
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Mr Ross today the other opposition parties at Holyrood to “show that they have the stomach stand up to this SNP Government” and back Tory motions of no confidence.
Mr Ross insisted: “The other parties need to show that they have the stomach stand up to this SNP Government like we do.
“To hold the First Minister to the same standards that she has held others to.”
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A vote of no confidence needs to take place, he added, to “give Parliament the opportunity to have its say on the First Minister’s conduct”.
The Scottish Tory leader accused the Deputy First Minister of having “suppressed information to help Nicola Sturgeon” adding that he “still withholds information”.
When the legal advice was finally made public, Mr Ross said it showed how the Scottish Government had “discounted” the opinion of lawyers as they continued to defend a legal challenge brought by Mr Salmond, which saw him win a payout of more than £500,000 at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
A report published by the Facts4EU.org think tank earlier this month indicated Scottish independence could jeopardise 60 percent of exports to the rest of the UK worth in excess of £50billion.
Michelle Ballantyne, leader of the Reform Party Scotland, who is also a member of the Scottish Parliament, told Express.co.uk: “The separatist agenda is built on nothing but falsehoods and plain old lies – now more than ever.
“Despite our economy crumbling due to 14 years of SNP mismanagement, as well as five years of lies about the dependency of Scotland on the EU market – the evidence is clear.
“Scotland’s economy is built on trade with our UK family. Will they ever come clean?
“The SNP will sacrifice everything on the altar of achieving the break-up of the UK.”
Mrs Ballantyne added: “They care nothing for our livelihoods and the well-being of the Scottish people.
“They are happy to lie and misuse devolution to create grievance and prejudice, but their political ideology means they are unable to embrace the opportunities of Brexit or admit the benefits that we are already seeing.”
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