Queen’s Speech: what you need to know

The Queen’s Speech, written by the Vote Leave fanatics in Number 10, has been used as a party political broadcast for the Tories – blatant electioneering by Boris Johnson.

An unelected Prime Minister without a mandate, Boris Johnson is paralysed by his pursuit of an extreme Brexit which has been squarely rejected by Parliament.

In an attempt to distract from their Brexit failures, the Conservative party unleashed a toxic agenda of far-right isolationism and US-style voter suppression.

Here’s what you need to know.

1) Boris Johnson’s top priority completely rejects the democratic will of Scotland

The first line of the Queen’s Speech and the Tory government’s top priority is an extreme Brexit, which Scotland clearly rejected by voting to remain in the European Union by an overwhelming margin.

Deal or no deal, the UK government’s own analysis reveals that all forms of Brexit would hurt the economy, slash jobs and damage our public services.

We will never accept Scotland being dragged out of the EU against its will and having to pay the price for a Tory obsession.

The whole Brexit process has clearly demonstrated that Scotland has been ignored, Westminster is not working, and Scotland must have a choice over its future. That’s why the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will formally request Section 30 powers for an independence referendum by the end of this year.

2) An end to free movement goes against Scotland’s interests

The Tories’ proposed Immigration Bill will bring an end freedom of movement – combined with Brexit, this could cost Scotland up to £2billion in tax revenues, while depriving the people of Scotland of the hard-won right to seamlessly live, work and study across the EU.

EU citizens living in Scotland make an enormous contribution to our society – enriching our communities, strengthening our public services and building a stronger economy.

Scotland is their home, and we strongly oppose the dangerous and arbitrary Tory plans to slash migration – a clear sign of Boris Johnson’s dogwhistle politics in action.

3) Tory proposals on trade will cut opportunities for Scotland’s businesses

As a member of the European Union, Scotland benefits from access to the world’s largest single market, with a single set of trade rules across all member states and no barriers to trade for small and large businesses alike.

An estimated 300,000 jobs in Scotland rely on our trade with the EU.

The Tory Trade Bill will end all this economic progress, create years of uncertainty for Scotland’s exporters, and potentially threaten to flood our market with US chlorinated chicken in a potential trade deal with Donald Trump.

4) A missed opportunity to end a decade of austerity

This Queen’s Speech completely failed to address the welfare disaster the Tories have overseen since 2010.

They’ve pushed up child poverty, cut income support for the most vulnerable, overseen a rise in homelessness, caused a sharp increase in food bank use, implemented a failed Universal Credit rollout, and have even seen the United Nations condemn their ideological austerity as “cruel and harmful”.

In Scotland, where we have powers over welfare, we are making a difference – building a new system based on dignity, fairness and respect.

However, where powers are reserved there needs to be a radical and immediate reform – Universal Credit must be fundamentally overhauled and the disgraceful two-child cap on child tax credits – along with the appalling rape clause – must be scrapped now.

If the Tories are not willing to deliver a fair social security system, then they should devolve the full powers to Scotland, so we can get on with doing the job ourselves.

5) Tories are still failing to honour the WASPI women

The Tory government’s Pensions Bill is a complete betrayal to the millions of WASPI women, who for years have paid into their pension fund and have not received what they are due.

SNP MPs have led the way in highlighting the pension inequality and gross injustice imposed on the WASPI women by the Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition government, and we will continue to do so until this wrong is put right.

What’s more, we’re crystal clear that we will not allow any new Pensions Bill to hike the state pension age further.

6) Tories are emulating Donald Trump and importing US-style voter suppression

Boris Johnson’s plans to introduce compulsory photo ID for voters is nothing short of voter suppression and a dangerous attempt to influence future elections.

Rather than tackling key issues threatening our democratic process – such as dark money and dodgy political donations – the Tories are instead lurching even further to the extremes and targeting ordinary citizens.

In contrast to the Tory attempt to limit voting, in Scotland the SNP have championed the expansion of the voting franchise. We have expanded the right for 16 & 17 year olds to vote in Scottish elections and referendums and are seeking to extend the right to vote to everyone legally resident in Scotland, not just EU and Commonwealth citizens.

Rather than importing a Republican US-style restrictive voting system and hostile approach, the Tories should follow the lead of the SNP Scottish Government.

7) The SNP will vote down this toxic Tory agenda

Boris Johnson’s vision brings nothing but harm to the people of Scotland and throughout the UK. SNP MPs will oppose this Queen’s Speech if it ever comes to a vote.

Yet again, Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster and our interests are being trampled over. We will not allow Scotland to be ripped out of the European Union against our will by a Brexit that will destroy jobs, inflict lasting harm on living standards and damage our public services.

Boris Johnson’s time is up, and the SNP will do everything we can to bring this failed Tory government to an end.

We have prepared a vote of no confidence – it’s time for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to grow up, unite behind the SNP plans, and kick Boris Johnson out of office.