FM's pledge on economy
Scotland can be ‘magnet for investment’ says Sturgeon
Party plan: Nicola Sturgeon will set out her vision (pic: Terry Murden)
Nicola Sturgeon will today say that an independent Scotland would become a “magnet for global investment” by acting as a bridge between the UK and the EU.
The First Minister and SNP leader will argue that independence gives Scotland “the best of both worlds”, although she assumes Scotland’s re-entry into the EU after Brexit.
The First Minister is expected to tell delegates at the party’s annual conference in Aberdeen: “In these turbulent times, our job is to bring hope, and to be the confidence builders.
“We are a wealthy country, bursting with talent and potential. Scotland is rich enough, strong enough and big enough to take our place among the proud, independent nations of the world
“But we must reject a post-Brexit race to the bottom and embrace instead a race to join the top tier of independent nations.
“And consider this – as an independent European country, Scotland will have a unique advantage.
“We will be in the EU single market and also the closest neighbour to our friends in the rest of the UK – a bridge between the EU and the UK, making our country a magnet for global investment.
“That’s what I call the best of both worlds.”
The First Minister is expected to add, in what is the first major policy pledge for the 2021 Holyrood election, that if re-elected she will scrap all non-residential social care charges.
“In April this year we extended free personal care to everyone who needs it, regardless of age.
“The principle behind free personal care and free health care is the same – if you need help you should get it.
“So today, I am making this promise – if I am re-elected as First Minister at the next Holyrood elections, then over the next parliament, the SNP will scrap all non-residential social care charges.”
Whatever your views on Brexit, Scexit is not the answer– Pamela Nash
Commenting on Ms Sturgeon’s statement on investment, Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “These are delusional comments from the SNP leader. It is a gross insult to suggest that leaving the UK internal market, erecting a hard border with England, and scrapping the pound for a new currency would attract investment to Scotland.
“Sixty per cent of our trade is with the rest of the UK, including £9billion of financial services exports. Putting barriers in the way of that will have a catastrophic impact on jobs and economic growth.
“Whatever your views on Brexit, Scexit is not the answer. Independence would be eight times worse for our economy than even the worst-case Brexit.
“The best future for Scotland is as part of the UK, allowing us to grow our economy and invest in vital public services.”