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ELECTION 2021: Benefits of remaining in Union for Scotland 'never clearer'

By Alan Beresford

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IN 2014, the SNP told us the referendum would be a “once in a generation” or lifetime event, writes Conservative candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Mark Findlater, and 60 per cent of Aberdeenshire voters backed staying part of the UK, a turnout of 87.2 per cent.

Conservative candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Mark Findlater.
Conservative candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Mark Findlater.

A week after the vote, the SNP government went back to avoiding Scotland’s problems and started campaigning for another referendum.

Since last March, the benefit of being part of the UK has never been clearer – £23 billion-plus from the Treasury for pandemic support, access to a world-leading vaccination programme, a million jobs protected by furlough, VAT cuts for businesses, and expanded benefits for those most in need.

And all the polls tell us Scots prioritise recovery, education, the economy, justice, the NHS – not more division. But the SNP tell us breaking Britain up would somehow make them a competent government.

The schools attainment gap has widened on their watch, more pupils are leaving without qualifications, and maths results are behind Estonia and Slovenia. Add the tragedy of care home deaths. Rusting ferries. A failed broadband programme. Mental health targets that have never been met. Sturgeon taking her eye off the ball about drug deaths. Aberdeenshire Council constantly underfunded.

Just a few from a long list – all devolved, all failures. There is no way this lot should get a Holyrood majority, let alone claim public appetite for independence.

It doesn’t matter how long waiting times are, how far behind pupils fall, or how poor their economic record is, Nationalists will claim they can’t do anything without independence.

In 2016, the north-east returned enough Scottish Conservative MSPs to help deny the SNP a majority, which sank their claims that Scotland wanted another referendum. We can do the same again, if you give us your party list vote by post or at the ballot box on May 6.

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