CLYDEBANK POST COLUMN – 8 MAY 2019

Scotland’s largest political gathering took place last weekend at the SNP Spring conference in Edinburgh. It was great catching-up with so many people from across Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire as we look towards Scotland’s future with confidence.

With the Westminster parties delving ever further into chaos over Brexit, it’s been left to the SNP to focus on offering a positive and ambitious vision for Scotland’s future.

The Tories and Labour used to dominate Scottish politics, but it’s increasingly clear that Westminster is failing Scotland – where our interests are repeatedly side-lined and ignored – and it is the SNP that more and more people are turning to to stand up for our local communities.

In three separate opinion polls published last week, support for the SNP has been shown to be on the rise whilst both the Tories and Labour continue to lose the backing of voters in Scotland.

We will never take voters for granted, but with Westminster in turmoil it’s no surprise to see support growing for both the SNP and independence for Scotland. In 2014 the people of Clydebank and West Dunbartonshire voted strongly for Yes to independence. Much has changed in the five years since then, but the case for an independent Scotland has never been stronger.

As we face being dragged out of the EU against our will by a Tory government we didn’t vote for, Brexit has highlighted the damaging democratic deficit at the heart of our system of government.

The SNP has a clear and unequivocal mandate to hold a second independence referendum – a mandate secured at the last Holyrood election to offer the people of Scotland the choice of a better future than Brexit Britain. That is a choice that must be ours to make, and I welcome the First Minister’s plans to bring forward legislation to enable a second independence referendum by 2021.

Of course, Tory and Labour politicians are already queueing up to try and deny Scotland its democratic right to choose a better future. The truth is though that the unionist parties are running scared because they realise that their “project fear” tactics won’t wash with voters a second time round.

This year marks 20 years since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened. Back then the belief of the British government was that devolution would kill support for Scottish independence “stone dead”. In fact the opposite has happened, and more Scots than ever are seeing that we’re better off if decisions are made here in Scotland rather than the shambles that is Westminster.

This is a crucial time for Scotland’s future. Make your voice heard and sign up in support of choosing a better path for Scotland at www.yes.scot.

This article appeared in the Clydebank Post on 8 May 2019.

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