Tuesday, 02 October 2018 05:04



The SNP has called on Theresa May to ditch her government’s self-destructive policies on Brexit, immigration and austerity – warning the Tories are “on a reckless mission to trash the economy”.

Ahead of the Tory leader’s conference speech, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford challenged the Prime Minister to “radically change course” to avoid inflicting serious and lasting harm to industries, public services, jobs, and prosperity.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber said Theresa May must use her speech to outline a new direction that protects the economy – by ditching Tory plans for a damaging hard Brexit, ending austerity, and delivering a pro-immigration strategy.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

“The Tories are on a reckless mission to trash the economy – with self-destructive policies on Brexit, austerity and immigration that threaten to inflict serious and lasting harm across Scotland and the UK.

“Theresa May must use her party conference speech to radically change course – outlining a new direction that puts the interests of the country ahead of the narrow Tory dogma that is damaging our industries, public services, jobs and prosperity.

“With the Chequers plan dead in the water and time running out, it is vital that the Prime Minister finally sees sense and backs our vital membership of the single market and customs union – short of staying in the EU, that is the only sensible path to protect the economy.

“We know from the UK government’s own analysis that Tory plans for a hard Brexit would be devastating. Destroying up to 80,000 Scottish jobs, and hitting GDP by up to 9% - costing Scotland £12.7billion a year, the equivalent of £2,300 lost for every person in the country.

“With the UK Budget just weeks away, Theresa May must also announce an end to a decade of failed Tory austerity, which has held back economic growth and squeezed living standards. Instead of piling on further cuts, the UK government must deliver the real investment needed to mitigate the damage of Brexit, boost the economy, and drive up household incomes.

“The success of the economy and our public services is dependent on us being able to attract talent from across the EU and around the world to live, work and study here. The Tories must reverse their hostile approach, scrap their arbitrary net migration targets, and instead develop a pro-immigration strategy that makes the most of the huge benefits immigration brings us all.

“While the SNP government is delivering progressive policies to drive Scotland forward, Theresa May’s divided and destructive Tories have proven they can only take us backwards.”

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