Theresa May to accuse the SNP of “tunnel vision” on Scottish independence

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 3 March 2017 in News

The Prime Minister is set to use her speech at the Scottish Conservative conference to warn Nicola Sturgeon that “politics is not a game”

Theresa May - credit: PA

Theresa May has accused the SNP of “tunnel vision” on Scottish independence, with the Prime Minister set to use her speech at the Scottish Conservative conference to warn Nicola Sturgeon that “politics is not a game”.

With the Scottish Tories meeting in Glasgow, the PM will claim the "neglect and mismanagement of Scottish education has been a scandal", while pressing Sturgeon to focus on public services rather than the constitution.

Setting out her own commitment to the union, May will say “As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I am just as concerned that young people in Dundee get a good start in life and receive the education they need to reach their full potential as I am about young people in Doncaster and Dartford.”


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But speaking to the BBC, May prime minister refused state whether or not she would grant permission for a second referendum on independence.

Earlier this week Ruth Davidson told Holyrood that May has a secret plan prepared if the SNP seeks permission to hold another referendum.

The Scottish Conservative leader said the PM will not reveal her hand unless Sturgeon formally requests a Section 30 order — the same process that paved the way for the 2014 poll through the Edinburgh Agreement.

May will tell party members: “Politics is not a game and the management of devolved public services in Scotland is too important to be neglected.

“People in Scotland deserve a First Minister who is focused on their priorities – raising standards in education, taking care of the health service, reforming criminal justice, helping the economy prosper, improving people’s lives.”

May will add: “Scottish schools, which once led the world in setting the highest standards of attainment, are now out-performed in every category by schools in England, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Poland.

“Education: fully devolved since 1999 and under the SNP’s stewardship for ten years. But standards have fallen, the attainment gap remains and Scottish young people are losing out.

“The SNP’s neglect and mismanagement of Scottish education has been a scandal.”

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