SNP 'wanting to get rid of community togetherness' with independence referendum: Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross has accused the SNP of wanting to "get rid" of the community togetherness seen during the Covid-19 pandemic to "divide" Scotland with a second independence referendum.

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. Picture: John Devlin
Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. Picture: John Devlin

The Scottish Conservative Party leader argued the SNP "mask is slipping" as he hit back at First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's claims independence was "essential" to help with the task of rebuilding Scotland after coronavirus.

Mr Ross also claimed the SNP Government wanted to "use every opportunity to further their aims" for making Scotland an independent country, adding "their priority is separation at all costs".

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He 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."

He added: "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."

Polling, he added, was "very clear that people do not see another independence referendum as a priority for them in the next Parliament.

"They expect the next Scottish Parliament to be focused still on the Covid pandemic and how we as a country can together rebuild after the effects of Covid-19," he said.

The UK Government, he said, had delivered £9.5 billion additional spending for the Scottish Government to deal with Covid, protected jobs and supported businesses, adding: "The SNP are unable to answer how they could have done all that in an independent Scotland."

He said 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".

The MP for Moray said: "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 businesses and their future that the SNP revert to type."

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