Here’s how we stood up for Scotland in 2019

Amid the constant chaos at Westminster, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything that happened in another tumultuous year.

It was a year that again highlighted the tale of two governments – the dysfunctional, dangerous Tory government in Westminster dominated by the Brexit fanatics, and the SNP government in Holyrood, leading the way in delivering progressive policies and working harder than ever to protect the people of Scotland from the pain and hardship of Tory rule.

While the Tories tacked increasingly to the far-right and Labour has failed in its role as the ‘official opposition’, the SNP has consistently stood up for Scotland.

And with the historic December 2019 election returning 47 SNP MPs, twelve up from the 2017 election, Scotland’s voice at Westminster will get even stronger in this new Parliament.

Here are just a few examples of how your SNP MPs stood up for Scotland in 2019.

We firmly stood up for Scotland’s place in Europe

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, a majority of Scotland’s MPs have voted against Brexit, as have a majority of MSPs at Holyrood.

Yet despite that, Scotland’s wishes have counted for nothing, as the UK Government ploughed on ahead with its increasingly extreme Brexit agenda.

Unlike the Scottish Tory MPs, who have been fully complicit in the unfolding Brexit disaster and always sided with their Westminster bosses rather than the people of Scotland, SNP MPs stood firm in speaking up for Scotland’s clearly expressed will to remain.

We took a leading role in cross-party efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit

SNP MPs forensically exposed the severe impacts of a no-deal Brexit backed up by the UK government’s own analysis, and Ian Blackford has lead the efforts to prevent an extreme Tory governments increasingly obsessed with taking us out of the EU at any cost.

We have showed leadership that has been severely lacking from the UK government and from Jeremy Corbyn by playing a key part in kickstarting cross-party talks. These have led to the introduction and passing of the Benn Act, with which we have put a legally-binding roadblock on Boris Johnson’s reckless path towards a no-deal by October 31.

We acted to protect democracy against Boris Johnson’s dictator-like behaviour

Acting increasingly like a tinpot dictator, Boris Johnson has reacted to the Benn Act by shutting the gates of Parliament in a shameful attempt to dodge scrutiny, silence MPs and force an extreme Brexit through the back door.

Joanna Cherry and a team of SNP MPs took the UK government to the Courts, and delivered two historic defeat to Boris Johnson, forcing the Tories to respect the rule of law and to re-open the UK Parliament after an unlawful and anti-democratic shutdown.

Time and again, we challenged the toxic Tory attitude to migration

The Tory government published its Immigration Bill and set out new draconian proposals to cut migration, making it crystal clear that their plans have only one purpose: placating the right wing of the Tory party, rather than championing EU citizens who contribute so much to Scotland and the UK.

SNP MPs have been the most consistent and the loudest voices in favour of retaining free movement, which has brought significant benefits to Scotland’s economy, public services and communities.

While Boris Johnson’s Tories took their politics further into the gutter and sought to mirror Nigel Farage’s xenophobic rhetoric, we have firmly stood by our open, inclusive and internationalist values.

We repeatedly called out Boris Johnson for his litany of racism

Boris Johnson has a long record of using explicitly racist, homophobic, misogynistic and other bigoted language. The fact that despite having verbally attacked hijab-wearing Muslim women, black people and gay people, he has still been chosen the Tory party leader, tells you everything you need to know about the Tories’ drift to the extreme right.

Even before Johnson won the Tory leadership, Ian Blackford didn’t let him get away with his hateful remarks with no scrutiny, bringing Johnson’s past comments into the limelight at PMQs, explicitly condemning his unacceptable behaviour and highlighting he was not fit for office.

We strongly opposed damaging Tory austerity policies

After a decade of failed Tory austerity cuts, combined with the rush to protect bankers’ bonuses and cut taxes for the very richest, communities across Scotland and the UK have been pushed into poverty and desperation.

SNP MPs have passionately pushed for Westminster to stop the cruel austerity programme, and implement a more compassionate welfare system based on dignity and respect, modelled on the Scottish Government’s approach to social security – an approach that received widespread praise from the UN.

We have been at the forefront of calls to halt the shambolic roll-out of Universal Credit, consistently demanded the end of the two-child benefit cap and the abhorrent rape clause, and loudly condemned the punitive benefit sanctions regime – while calling for full devolution of all social security powers, so we can get rid of barbaric Tory policies once and for all.