John Swinney’s opening statement to the BBC Scottish Leaders’ Debate

Opening the BBC Scotland Leaders’ debate, Scotland’s First Minister and SNP Leader John Swinney said:

“Spending cuts, Brexit and the cost of living have all hit people hard.

“Each is a product of decisions made in Westminster.

“As your First Minister, I want to deliver the best future for Scotland.

“The SNP has doubled frontline funding for the NHS, expanded childcare and protected free tuition and free prescriptions.

“But Westminster still holds most of Scotland’s purse-strings.

“Independent experts are warning that Labour and the Conservatives are not being straight about massive spending cuts that are to come.

“We are arguing for no more cuts and to reverse Brexit, to raise living standards

“Independence would give us the power to address all these issues.

“Vote SNP to put Scotland’s interests first

“Vote for a future made in Scotland – for Scotland.”