Scotland’s key workers – especially in our NHS and social care services, but also including our supermarket staff, police officers, cleaners, delivery drivers and those working in public transport – have all worked day and night to keep the country safe and moving.
The challenge for us now is to continue to suppress the virus whilst also moving towards a gradual lifting of restrictions.
As we slowly lift restrictions, we must rigorously monitor the spread of the virus, and ensure we don’t undo the progress we’ve worked so hard to achieve by allowing it to run out of control again.
The restrictions are working – and your cooperation in staying at home, except for essential purposes, is reducing the numbers of people becoming seriously ill and it is saving lives.
On Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon updated the nation on Scotland’s plan to tackle the coronavirus – stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.
If we were to do that, we would risk lives and lose all the progress we’ve made so far, potentially causing a dangerous second spike of the virus. That is a risk we cannot afford to take.
Our central objective must continue to be suppressing COVID-19 and minimising its damage in health terms but, if possible, with a better balance.
Our challenge is to find a way to live alongside the virus while continuing to suppress it as we’re finding the “new normal”.
We are truly in unprecedented times. It is difficult to comprehend the huge life changes we have all been asked to make in just a matter of weeks.
We can all play our part in stepping up the fight against the spread of coronavirus. Let’s ensure those in our communities who need our support most are not left to cope alone.
The Scottish budget is without a doubt progressive and focused on what matters for Scotland. It will support the delivery of ambitious policies which will improve the lives people across Scotland now and help us safeguard the planet for the generations to come.
In Scotland we are serious about the net zero challenge and our ambitions are backed by strong investment.
At 11pm tonight, Scotland will cease to be part of the EU after almost half a century. That is a moment of profound sadness for me, and for countless others across Scotland, and indeed the rest of the UK.
As the great Nelson Mandela said – ‘It always seems impossible until it is done’. In Scotland I believe we are on the cusp of such a moment.
The start of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to look ahead and think about what sort of country we want Scotland to be by 2030.
Nicola Sturgeon has set out the next steps in Scotland’s right to choose its own future.
Later this week I will publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power from Westminster to this Parliament to allow for an independence referendum that is beyond legal challenge.
The people of Scotland have spoken – it is time to decide our own future.
I am asking people to look ahead – not just to the next few weeks, but towards the future we all want to see for Scotland.
People in Scotland have the right to consider an alternative future. A future with Scotland as an equal partner with our closest friends in the rest of the UK and with the EU.
It’s absurd that a willingness to kill millions is now seen as a virility test for leadership, and I want no part.
At this crucial election, Scotland is at a crossroads – continuing down the path of Boris Johnson’s Brexit Britain, or choosing a new path with independence.
All elections are important, but this December 12 general election is the most important in our lifetimes. This election will determine who we are as a nation, and fundamentally, who will decide our future.
The future of our country is at stake. Not just for the next five years – but for the generations to come.
Nicola Sturgeon has written to Remain voters, urging them to unite and back the SNP and help Scotland escape Brexit.
An independent Scotland is closer than it has ever been, it really is within touching distance. What is needed now is another clear win for the SNP to bring it even closer still.