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‘The mask is slipping!’ Sturgeon shamed for using covid as excuse for independence demand

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SNP slammed by Miklinski for independence 'obsession'

The Scottish First Minister is demanding a second independence vote next year after support for a new referendum has increased during the pandemic. But opposition parties have claimed she is focused on independence rather than dealing with the pandemic.

The Scottish Conservative party leader, Douglas Ross, said: “I think throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen communities coming together to support each other and that’s been one of the few positives out of Covid-19 is how we’ve all worked together, how we’ve put aside differences for the greater good.

“And the SNP wants to throw all that in the bin, get rid of all that and divide our country, our workplaces, our families again over a constitutional argument when the priority should absolutely be on getting on top of this virus, rebuilding our economy post-Covid.

“Nicola Sturgeon tries to portray herself as someone who is solely focused on dealing with the Covid pandemic when that’s clearly not the case.”

Mr Ross claimed the SNP Government wants to “use every opportunity to further their aims” for making Scotland an independent country.

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He claimed their “priority is separation at all costs”.

The leader of the Scottish Tories also said it was “very clear that people do not see another independence referendum as a priority for them in the next Parliament”.

He continued: “They expect the next Scottish Government to be focused still on the Covid pandemic and how we as a country can together rebuild after the effects of Covid-19.”

The MP for Moray added the SNP were unable to answer how Scotland would have dealt with the pandemic without the UK Government’s £9.5billion payout.

He added people were “fed up of manufactured grievances that we see from the SNP trying to pick a fight, politicising issues, rather than just rolling up our sleeves and working together.

“I thought it was very telling that even during a global pandemic when lives are being lost in Scotland and people are worried about their jobs or their business and their future that the SNP revert to type.”

Mr Ross said Scotland needed a Government which is willing to use their powers “to improve the lives of people” across the country.

He also argued there were “major holes” in the SNP’s case for independence following the 2014 poll.

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The Tory leader in Scotland continued: “There are huge gaps in their argument for how a separate Scotland would be run, would be financed, would work in reality and these questions have not bee answered.”

He also offered voters an alternative to the “tired” SNP Government ahead of the Holyrood election next year.

So far, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused another referendum following the “once in a lifetime” vote in 2014.

Mr Ross – who quit as Scotland Office minister in May – insisted “working together” will achieve far more than the “petty fights” between the UK and Scottish Governments.

He said: “The Prime Minister has been clear he believes in devolution, he is just frustrated as many Scots are that devolution has not delivered as much for people across the country as it could have done because for the last 13-and-a-half years, the SNP have used devolution for their own benefit to, in their view, advanced the case for separation, rate than actually delivering devolution and focusing on all the services.”

Polls are now suggesting a majority of Scots are in favour of leaving the UK.

Ms Sturgeon claimed it has “never been so certain” the country will vote to separate from the Union.

While speaking at the party’s annual conference last month, she said: “Scotland is now a nation on the cusp of making history.

“Independence is in clear sight – and with unity of purpose, humility and hard work I have never been so certain that we will deliver it.

“The people of Scotland have the right to choose their future.

“Let’s now focus all our efforts on making sure we bring about that better country they and future generations deserve.”

“We can overcome poverty, inequality, and we lead the way in tackling the climate emergency.

“The question for all of us as we look ahead to the election next May is this – who should be taking the decisions that shape our futures?

“We know that it is the people who live here, wherever they come from, who can best harness Scotland’s immense human and natural resources to the benefit of everyone.”

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