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'The future of our country is at stake,' says Nicola Sturgeon at SNP election campaign launch

Holyrood

'The future of our country is at stake,' says Nicola Sturgeon at SNP election campaign launch

In her speech, the SNP leader said that “a vote for the SNP is a vote to escape Brexit” and listed the party’s demands to any future UK Government.

Nicola Sturgeon has said the “future of our country is at stake” as she launched the SNP’s general election campaign in Edinburgh.

In her speech, the SNP leader said that “a vote for the SNP is a vote to escape Brexit” and listed the party’s demands to any future UK Government.

She insisted that cooperation with any party after the election is conditional on allowing a second independence referendum and predicted that opposition to one at Westminster was going to “crumble”.

Sturgeon said that the key issue before voters in the 12 December election is on “who has the right to decide our future”.

She said Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU is being “ignored”  and that Westminster is “taking Scotland down the wrong path - and it is doing so against our will”.

Putting independence “at the heart” of the party’s campaign, Sturgeon reiterated her call for a second independence referendum to be held next year.

She said: “At this election, therefore, there is a fundamental question at stake for Scotland.

“Who will decide our future: will it be Boris Johnson or the people of Scotland?

“My intention is that the people of Scotland will decide Scotland’s future in an independence referendum next year.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed any moves towards allowing a referendum yesterday while on a campaign visit to Scotland.

Responding to questions from journalists about whether it is likely Johnson would meet her demands, she said: “The position Boris Johnson articulated yesterday is not a sensible, serious or sustainable position: that he will block Scottish democracy forever and a day.

“And I will predict confidently at this podium today that that position will turn out to have a shelf life of only about as long as his ‘we will leave the European Union do or die, or I’ll be dead in a ditch, some way or otherwise’ - this is not a man whose word from day to day can be taken seriously.

“Fundamentally, it is the power of public opinion in Scotland that will see that position proven to be unsustainable.

“We are already seeing it crumble before our eyes in the Labour party, and I don’t think it’ll be long before we’re seeing it elsewhere.”

Sturgeon said the SNP would seek to build alliances with other parties after the election in order to stop the Conservatives gaining power.

She said she was willing to work with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, but that the SNP would “drive a hard bargain” in exchange for their support.

Any support to the Labour party in creating a minority government would rely on the party meeting a set of demands, including transferring the power to hold an independence referendum, she said.

The SNP’s demands also include the further devolution of powers to Holyrood over drugs, migration and employment law and the removal of nuclear weapons from the river Clyde.

Sturgeon also discussed the SNP’s pledge to introduce an NHS Protection Bill, which would prevent a future UK Government from making any agreement that would see the NHS used as a “bargaining chip” in post-Brexit trade deals.

She said “we will fight tooth and nail any attempt to expose the NHS to a post Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump”.

She added: "That is a concrete example of how the SNP will use our influence at Westminster - and any party that wants our support will need to match us."

Read the most recent article written by Ailean Beaton - Corbyn promises £70bn investment in Scotland if Labour wins election

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