Nicola Sturgeon and SNP slammed by Anas Sarwar on Andrew Marr
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Scottish Conservative leader Mr Ross takes his challenging party into the Scottish election next Thursday hoping to prevent the SNP from securing a majority that would allow them to press ahead with another referendum. During a speech near the border with England on Thursday, he will warn the “very future of our country is at stake” and appeal to those who are opposed to Scotland splitting from the UK to back his party – even if they are first-time Conservative voters.
The Tories believe winning regional list votes could be vitally important, and Mr Ross will warn Scots that just like in 2014 when the country came close to securing independence, it again “stands on the brink”.
Mr Ross will say: “We have only seven days left to save Scotland’s recovery.
“The SNP want to rip up our country and they want to do it at the worst possible moment.
“If we do not address the threat next Thursday, the SNP will have a green light to charge ahead with a hard border, just a few hundred yards from where I stand.
“The very future of our country is at stake – and you need to vote for the future you want to see.”
Several polls have suggested Ms Sturgeon’s SNP are on course to secure a majority of MSPs in Holyrood that would take them a step closer to forcing through a second independence referendum.
The Scottish Conservative leader will warn that this, along with both the Greens and the Alba Party headed up by former First Minister Alex Salmond supporting independence, the “threat of a nationalist supermajority is very real”.
Mr Ross will claim they are all “intent on hijacking the Scottish Parliament for the sole purpose of delivering a second independence referendum”.
In a huge warning, he will say: “Instead of setting up programmes to protect and create jobs, they will be inventing an economic case for independence and trying to design a new currency.
“Instead of supporting our NHS to work through a backlog of cancelled treatments, they will be planning to dismantle our healthcare procurement system, responsible for the huge success of the vaccine scheme.
“Instead of catching pupils up from a year of disrupted learning, they will be arranging to scrap the Barnett Formula that funds our schools and other public services.
“Instead of Scotland’s two Governments working together for our recovery, they will force a constitutional showdown and court battles.
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“Instead of working to rebuild Scotland from a pandemic, they will be working to break up the United Kingdom.”
Mr Ross will also warn a pro-independence majority in Holyrood would see Scotland “move straight from a Scottish Parliament election campaign into a second referendum campaign”.
In a last-ditch appeal to Scots, he will insist another independence referendum is “not inevitable”.
The Scottish Conservative leader will urge Union supporters to join forces and “stop a referendum and keep Scotland on the road to recovery.”
He will conclude: “The only way to stop a second independence referendum is to use your party list vote on the peach ballot paper for the Scottish Conservatives.
“Even if you have never supported our party before. Even if it’s just this once. Even if you never consider yourself a Conservative.
“In 2016, over 500,000 Scots backed our party, many for the first time, and together we stopped an SNP majority.
“In 2021, if pro-UK voters come together again and use their peach ballots for the Scottish Conservatives, we will stop a referendum and keep Scotland on the road to recovery.”
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