SNP will put the case for independence at the centre of the election

A tale of two governments has been on show in Westminster and Holyrood this week.

In contrast to the dysfunctional and dangerous administration in London, the SNP’s conference in Aberdeen has highlighted the Scottish government’s progressive record and getting on with the job of strengthening our economy and investing in public services.

In stark contrast is the stagnant Tory government consumed by chaos and on its last legs. The Scottish government is putting the NHS first, delivering for young people, taking action on the climate emergency and working to protect citizens from the hardship of the Tory austerity agenda.

However, with the October Brexit deadline edging closer, the Tory threat to Scotland is growing. Boris Johnson’s toxic Brexit agenda would be devastating for Scotland, ripping us out of the EU, the single market and the customs union against our will, destroying jobs, and inflicting lasting harm on living standards and the economy.

The Tories’ extreme Brexit plans to terminate our freedom of movement would be catastrophic, rolling back our rights, sending our working-age population into decline, causing staffing shortages, and taking a wrecking ball to public finances.

Economic analysis has shown that an extreme Brexit could lead to a recession and cost 100,000 Scottish jobs. That is a price that the people of Scotland must not be forced to pay.

The SNP will continue to work to prevent that nightmare scenario.

We are just 15 days away from when the UK is set to leave the European Union, and instead of applying the brakes Johnson is dragging us closer to an unprecedented catastrophe. He has no plan to protect the economy, people’s living standards, or the rights of citizens across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

It’s clear that no price is too high for the Brexit fanatics. The Tories simply do not care about the cost of Brexit, the cost in jobs and in the supply of food and medicines, as raised in the UK government’s own Yellowhammer documents.

Johnson’s politically hijacked Queen’s Speech highlighted his dangerous drive to the cliff-edge. Under threat are the economy, people’s livelihoods, and small and large businesses and industries — including the fishing sector and the NHS.

However, people in Scotland can have a choice for a better future — and it is a choice that Westminster cannot block.

That choice was reaffirmed over the weekend after a stunning poll from The Sunday Times showed support for independence up at 50%, with the SNP projected to make gains across Scotland, and a clear majority believing that Scotland’s economy will be better off with independence.

With a general election looming, the SNP will put Scotland’s opposition to Brexit and the right to choose a future as an independent country at the heart of that contest. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and a majority of Scotland’s MPs have voted against a no deal Brexit, as have a majority of MSPs at Holyrood.

Despite that, Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster and our interests are being trampled over throughout the entire process.

It is clearer than ever that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests properly is with independence.

This article originally appeared in The Times.