LOCAL parliamentarian David Mundell has urged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to drop plans to push for another independence referendum and instead focus entirely on rebuilding from the Covid-19 pandemic
Announcing her Programme for Government in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon revealed that the nationalist SNP-Green administration would publish an independence White Paper with the aim of holding a referendum within the next two years.
But Clydesdale MP David Mundell warned that continuing to combat the pandemic, growing the economy, protecting jobs and strengthening public services like health and education should instead be the Scottish Government's only priorities.
Mr Mundell told the House of Commons during Scottish Questions on Wednesday the decision was 'shameful.'
He said: "Shameful and a disgrace are words that Nicola Sturgeon likes to bandy about against her opponents but they truly apply to her announcement yesterday that, while Scotland continues to have one of the worst Covid rates in Europe, she is diverting resources into another divisive independence referendum."
Mr Mundell asked Scottish Secretary Alister Jack to confirm that the focus of the UK Government would be to work constructively across the UK to defeat Covid, to save jobs and to restore the economy?
Mr Jack responded: "My Right Honourable Friend is absolutely right. Our focus is on rebuilding the economy. Our focus is on restoring our NHS and I think most right-minded Scots would agree with me that using civil service resources to design a prospectus for independence is the wrong thing to be doing at this time."
Later Mr Mundell said: "With the SNP, breaking up the United Kingdom is always top of their agenda, while the issues that really matter to people in Clydesdale are sidelined.
“We need a Government fully committed to dealing with Covid and it’s aftermath, and they should be pouring all their effort into rebuilding Scotland. Instead, the SNP/Green Government will be distracted by trying to build a new case for independence.
“It’s time the Scottish Government got its priorities straight, put independence to one side and concentrated on improving the quality of life of communities like ours."