SNP is the real opponent of devolution, says Alister Jack
The SNP "opposes devolution" and must end the grievance culture with the UK Government to help the country's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Scottish Secretary has said.
Alister Jack today accused the Nationalist administration in Edinburgh of using devolution as a "trojan horse" to campaign for independence and urged senior SNP figures to end calls for a "divisive referendum on Scotland leaving the UK.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford this week called for a referendum to be staged next year and consistent polling now shows that a majority of Scots support independence.
It comes in a week which saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson brand devolution a "disaster", although aides later insisted he was referring to the SNP's stewardship at Holyrood
Mr Jack said in a recorded address to today's Scottish Conservatives conference in Perth: "It is the SNP which opposes devolution.”
He added: "The past few years have shown that devolution does not work best when its powers are controlled by a party which actively opposes it.
"The SNP have the past 13 years trying to use the Scottish Parliament as a trojan horse for independence.
"That is why I I have made clear that we expect the SNP to honour its once-in-a-generation promise on the independence referendum.
“The last thing we need at this time is another divisive referendum.
“There are huge opportunities ahead of us. But to take full advantage of these we need the Scottish Government to match our ambition.
“It is time for all of us to work together, and ensure we really do build back better.
“People in Scotland expect both their governments to work together on a successful future for us all."
The Scottish Secretary, who was opening the second day of the Scottish Conservatives’ conference, claimed the SNP’s “determination to start a row with Westminster” comes before their support for Scotland’s economy and jobs.
“They consistently put the nationalist interest ahead of the national interest,” he added.
“SNP ministers need to take the batteries out of the grievance machine, stop stirring conflict with the UK Government, and seek to work with us instead.
“They will not be forgiven if they place their ideological obsession with separating from the United Kingdom above the huge effort we must all make to bounce back from the misery of COVID.”
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