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General election manifesto: Scottish Conservatives say 'no to Indyref2'

David Anderson/Holyrood

General election manifesto: Scottish Conservatives say 'no to Indyref2'

The manifesto sets out five “guarantees”, which include stopping a second independence referendum, increasing Scotland’s budget by more than £3.1bn and introducing an “Australia-style” immigration system

The Scottish Conservatives have launched their general election manifesto, titled ‘No to Indyref2’, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterating his pledge to block any call for a second independence referendum.

The manifesto sets out five “guarantees”, which include stopping a second independence referendum, increasing Scotland’s budget by more than £3.1bn and introducing an “Australia-style” immigration system.

On Brexit, the party says it will keep the UK out of the single market and any sort of customs union, while it also pledged not to raise the rates of National Insurance or VAT.

The Tories promised to review duty on whiskey and gin producers, raise the number of seasonal agricultural workers to 10,000, launch an oil and gas sector deal, and “end the role of the European Court of Justice”.

The Conservatives also say the UK will leave the Common Fisheries Policy in December 2020 and become “an independent coastal state”.

The manifesto promises that “the NHS is not on the table” in any future post-Brexit trade deal, nor is the price it pays for drugs or the services it provides.

Writing in the manifesto introduction, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Scotland had been “trapped” for a decade by the SNP.

On the subject of an independence referendum, he said: “I can guarantee that we will reject any request from the SNP Government to hold an independence referendum.

“There will be no negotiation – we will mark that letter return to sender and be done with it.”

On climate change, the party reiterated the UK Government target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a new “Blue Planet Fund” to  hep cut plastic pollution and overfishing.

The offshore wind industry will generate 40gw in electricity by 2030, the party promises.

But it also says it wants to “protect” 100,000 jobs in the North Sea as part of its oil and gas sector deal.

Speaking at the manifesto launch, interim leader of the Scottish Conservatives Jackson Carlaw said: “This election is a chance to insist on change. To insist that for once Nicola Sturgeon listens. To insist on something better.

“We did it before remember: two years ago, 13 Scottish Conservative MPs were elected. Within days, the SNP’s referendum plans beat a hasty retreat.

“This December, we get the chance to tell Nicola Sturgeon again. Tell her again: no to a second referendum. Tell her again: get on with the job we pay you to do. Tell her again: let’s get Scotland moving.”

Carlaw called on all pro-union voters in Scotland to “lend us your vote”.

He said: “I say to all pro-union voters who are thinking hard about what to do at this election, voters who might have been thinking about giving it a miss, or people who haven't voted for us before.

“Forget Scottish labour, they have abandoned the union and Jeremy Corby has abandoned you.

“Instead, lend us your vote. Join with us, because this is important.

“Together, let’s make Nicola listen for once and together we can move on as a country.”

Read the most recent article written by Ailean Beaton - New chair of Audit Scotland appointed

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