Tory leader in Scotland
Johnson pledges oil and whisky deals as part of union pact
Boris Johnson speaking in North Queensferry
Boris Johnson pledged support for Scotland’s key industries and a £3.1 billion windfall for public services as he urged Scots to reject calls to break up the union.
During a flying visit to Fife he promised an oil and gas sector deal to support the northeast economy, a review of whisky duty, a guarantee on farm support, and a firm plan to become an independent coastal state to support Scotland’s fishing sector.
Criticising Labour’s plans to tax the oil and gas sector – dubbed an Aberdeen tax – Mr Johnson said the Tories’ Oil and Gas Sector deal will help protect the more than 100,000 jobs in Scotland.
The Scottish Conservative manifesto also sets out a commitment to oppose a second independence referendum.
Mr Johnson said: “You have been paralysed by Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP who simply refuse to accept your decision to keep our United Kingdom together. And that is why this election is so essential.
“If the outcome of this election is a strong Conservative majority government, then I can guarantee that we will reject any request from the SNP government to hold an independence referendum. There will be no negotiation – we will mark that letter return to sender and be done with it.
“You already made your decision five years ago, when two million Scots said no to independence. Nicola Sturgeon promised you this was a once-in-a-generation decision and I will hold her to that.”
The manifesto promises:
- More than £3.1 billion for Scottish public services as a result of the Barnett Consequentials from Conservative commitments in England.
- A review of alcohol duty to back Scottish whisky and gin producers.
- A commitment to leave the Common Fisheries Policy in December 2020 and to take back control of fishing waters as an independent coastal state.
- Quadrupling the number of seasonal agricultural workers to 10,000
- Permanent tax mitigation from having to pay the Scottish rate of income tax for armed forces personnel based in or resident in Scotland.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw insisted the party could defy the pundits and repeat its success of two years ago when it won 13 Scottish seats. “This December, we get the chance to tell Nicola Sturgeon again. Tell her again: no to a second referendum. Tell her again: get on with the job we pay you to do. Tell her again: let’s get Scotland moving,” he said.
The Conservatives pointed that they have delivered tax cuts worth £2.3 billion to the North Sea oil and gas sector. This has included effectively abolishing Petroleum Revenue Tax and halving the Supplementary Charge from 20 to 10%.
SNP urges voters to reject Johnson
Nicola Sturgeon has warned of Brexit ‘nightmare’ (pic: Terry Murden)
Nicola Sturgeon will today launch her party’s manifesto warning that the party will demand a second independence referendum as a condition for supporting a minority government.
She will accuse Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being “dangerous and unfit for office” and that the prime minister’s proposed Brexit deal would be a “nightmare” for Scottish jobs, environmental standards and workers’ rights.
Ahead of the manifesto launch the First Minister highlighted the SNP’s anti-austerity demands of any future UK Government – saying SNP MPs will argue for a future UK Government to match Scotland’s current spending per head on the NHS, delivering a bonus of more than £4bn for Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon is expected to say: “A vote for the SNP is a vote to escape Brexit and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.
“Brexit is nowhere near being done. The Tories have barely got going – they haven’t even started trade talks.
“Because of Johnson’s hard line position, there is every chance the UK will leave without a trade deal next year. That would be a catastrophe for jobs.
“And even if he somehow avoids that, his dream deal will be a nightmare for Scotland.
“It will take Scotland out of the Single Market – which is eight times the size of the UK alone – and out of the Customs Union, the world’s biggest trading block.
“Environmental standards and workers’ rights will be at risk. And as night follows day, the Tories will sell-out Scotland’s fishing industry.”