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Scottish Conservative leader Mr Ross takes his opposition party into the Holyrood election next Thursday, hoping to strike a hammer blow into the SNP’s pursuit of a second referendum on Scottish independence. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has vowed the SNP – who have 61 MSPs in the 129 seat parliament – will ramp up their pursuit for Scotland to split from the rest of the UK if they can secure a majority in the national polls. This comes despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejecting repeated demands from the SNP for the UK Government to transfer the relevant powers to Holyrood to hold a second independence referendum.
Earlier this month, the SNP released its election manifesto, which said: “We are seeking your permission at this election for an independence referendum to be held after Covid – when the crisis has passed but in time for us to equip our Parliament with the full powers it needs to drive our long-term recovery from Covid.”
But Scottish Conservative leader Mr Ross believes his party can repeat their result from the last Scottish election in 2016, which saw them double their seats under then-leader Ruth Davidson from 15 to 31 and subsequently deny the SNP a majority Government.
Ahead of the crunch election next Thursday, he is urging Scottish voters now is the time to end “14 years of failure” under the SNP.
Mr Ross believes an SNP majority would have disastrous consequences for Scotland, accusing the ruling party of being obsessed with their “party political priority” and not the priorities of 5.5 million people in the country.
He told Express.co.uk: “If the SNP win a majority, it will be a Government that seeks division, wants to create fights with the UK Government rather than seeking to work with them, and we can do so much better than that.
“There is an opportunity at this election, after 14 years of failure from the SNP, to seek a better alternative.
“It would be disastrous for Scotland if the SNP win an overall majority and go unchecked over the next five years in Holyrood, doing whatever they like as they seek to divide our country all over again, rather than working across parliament to protect jobs, invest in extra teachers, tackle the attainment gap, deal with Scotland’s massive drug death problem.
“Nicola Sturgeon admitted she took her eye off the ball on that and many other things, but that’s because she has been solely focused on an independence referendum.
“Scotland’s best days lie here in a strong UK.
“We have seen that during this awful pandemic and will come through it far stronger as part of a family of four nations of the UK than we ever could as an independent country.”
The Scottish Conservative leader warned: “The SNP will always put the Nationalist interest ahead of the national interest in Scotland.
“They are obsessed with their party political priority and not the priorities of the people of Scotland.”
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Mr Ross also warned the future of our country” is on the line at the crunch Scottish election next Thursday.
He has urged voters to get behind the Scottish Conservatives as they attempt to build momentum to repeat the result from 2016 that prevented an SNP majority and stalled their independence plans.
The Scottish Conservative leader concluded: “We’re getting feedback from people who know the SNP want to take us through another independence referendum, would wreck our recovery, or the Scottish Conservatives who could stop them, like we did five years.
“We have the strongest team to challenge the SNP right across Scotland and if people repeat what they did in the 2016, we will stop an SNP majority and stop them holding a second independence referendum.
“That means our parliament and our country can focus on the recovery and rebuilding.”
He added: “This election is about the future of our country.
“It’s that serious and that’s what is at stake.
“If people unite on the peach ballot paper behind the Scottish Conservatives, we can ensure the division the SNP are seeking can be stropped and we look positively to the future.”
But the SNP have hit back at the comments from Mr Ross, and a spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Douglas Ross’s campaign has been a disaster from start to finish – even Boris Johnson is too embarrassed to be seen campaigning with him.
“The SNP is the only party offering experienced leadership and serious government.
“That’s why it has to be Both Votes SNP on 6th May.”
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