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by Andrew Learmonth
29 April 2021
Douglas Ross urges 'anti-referendum, pro-UK majority' to back Tories

Douglas Ross visited Coldstream during the election campaign

Douglas Ross urges 'anti-referendum, pro-UK majority' to back Tories

Douglas Ross has urged the “anti-referendum, pro-UK majority in Scotland” to back his party at next week’s election.

In a speech in the Borders, the Scottish Conservative leader claimed splitting the unionist vote could lead to Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP winning an overall majority next Thursday.

He said: “If things continue as they are, then next Thursday the SNP will charge ahead with their plans that would create a hard border, just a few hundred yards from here at the Coldstream Bridge.

“We need to stand up to them in the national interest, to stop a second independence referendum and secure our recovery.

“If we don’t now, in this election, then it will be too late, the damage will be done.

“What the SNP are proposing right now is irreversible. It would crush our economic recovery. It would take us to the brink of ending the United Kingdom.”

Ross claimed Scottish Labour were “sitting on the side-lines”.

“Many of their candidates are open to a referendum taking place,” he added. “Can we really be sure that when it comes down to a crunch vote in parliament that every one of their MSPs will vote against Sturgeon’s referendum?”

He said the Liberal Democrats were “a spent force in our politics” and cautioned No voters against backing the “range of minor parties who are untried and untested.”

“This is not the election for risking your vote on parties with uncertain positions or uncertain prospects,” he said.

Despite the UK Government’s unwillingness to agree to a Section 30 order to devolve the powers necessary for a legally watertight vote, Ross said there was still a real chance of a referendum.

He said: “Now, there will be some of you who think that a referendum cannot happen.

“That despite what she says, Nicola Sturgeon will not really hold a referendum when Scotland is coming out of the pandemic.

“Or that the UK Government will block it and the SNP will just give up,

“A view that is reinforced by many a complacent commentator.

“The same commentators who told us that Alex Salmond would never win a majority or that the 2014 Referendum would never happen.

“We cannot leave the future of our country to wishful thinking.

“They will hold a referendum regardless of whether it is legally agreed by the UK Government or not.

“Instead of Scotland’s two government’s working together for our recovery, we will see them facing each other over a courtroom.

“And all the while the SNP will be taking forward an illegal referendum, wasting tens of millions of pounds on a vote that will end up being invalid.”

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - Scotland has voted for a second independence referendum, says Nicola Sturgeon

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