With independence, we can escape the chaos of Westminster for good

Since my election to Westminster in 2015, I’ve had a front-row seat watching a disastrous succession of Tory Prime Ministers, each one inflicting a litany of cuts on Scottish households as they presided over botched Brexit deals and a cost-of-living crisis that has many households in Scotland on their knees.As is so often the case, women have been the ones to pay the highest price for the Westminster Tories’ reckless pursuit of discriminatory austerity measures, which serve to punish the most vulnerable in our society, making them jump through hoops to get the support they deserve. Of course, when it comes to punitive policies, there are few more shameful than the callous two-child cap and the rape clause which stands part of it – a pernicious policy that I uncovered in the 2015 Tory budget. This cruel policy has now pushed 1.5 million families into poverty, while weaponing survivors of sexual assault’s trauma against them.The damage inflicted on women and their young families by Westminster cannot be overstated. And that cruelty does not stop there.Only a few months ago, we had a Home Secretary who dreamt of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda – a plan so inhumane that it was ruled unlawful by the UK Supreme Court.Now, we have a Prime Minister hell-bent on “stopping the boats” as his government scrambles to cut migration levels – demonising our valued minority communities for Westminster’s bad choices. Their unrealistic wage thresholds on visas will put a price on love and on family life; international students will be turned away from our universities. As the SNP’s Home Affairs Spokesperson, I do not see Scotland’s values represented in Westminster’s dehumanising policies.While the UK’s hostile environment continues, exacerbated by tabloid headlines and xenophobic dog whistles, the SNP Scottish Government has drawn up plans for a fair migration system in an independent Scotland that welcomes migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to our communities.It’s as clear to me now as when I first sat on those benches almost 10 years ago; Westminster’s priorities do not align with Scotland’s values. Westminster does not work – and has never worked – for Scotland.The only way to get rid of Tory MPs in Scotland and ensure that Scotland has a strong voice is to vote SNP.Anas Sarwar has vowed Labour MPs will give Scotland a seat at the table. But those of us who campaign for independence know all too well the value of Scottish Labour’s vows. We don’t need to hover in the doorway for a seat at the table when we have the means to book our own.Brexit Britain is broken beyond repair, and the longer we stay dragged behind a rotating carousel of Tory and Labour cabinets, the longer Scotland will continue to pay the price of Westminster governments who see Scotland as a mere afterthought.Only a vote for the SNP at the upcoming election will ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard, with MPs that answer to the people of Scotland – not their bosses in Westminster.With independence, Scotland will finally lock the Tories out of government, not just for one term – but for good.