Nicola Sturgeon: SNP a ‘progressive force’ in UK

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: SNP can be 'progressive' force in UK. Picture: Hemedia

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: SNP can be 'progressive' force in UK. Picture: Hemedia

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THE SNP can be a “progressive force” in UK politics as part of a multi-party alliance in Westminster as well as being a “loud voice” for Scotland, according to leader Nicola Sturgeon.

The First Minister appeared to put her desire for Scottish independence on hold and made her immediate priority working with Labour, the Greens and Welsh Nationalists Plaid Cyrmu to reshape politics across the UK and end austerity.

She restated that scrapping the Trident nuclear deterrent is “an absolute priority” but also made it clear her party intends to vote on more English-only matters other than health including taxation to make sure the UK is more progressive. Ms Sturgeon dismissed suggestions that Scotland could declare independence without a referendum.

“The only way for Scotland to become independent is for a majority of people in Scotland to vote for independence in a referendum – that is the route to independence,” she said.

“Do I think that will happen? Yes I do.

“I can’t sit here right now and tell you exactly when that will happen.

“It will happen when there is a demand in Scotland for a referendum.”

Ms Sturgeon also extended the principle of Scottish votes for English laws at Westminster on issues that don’t affect Scotland after 
her party’s U-turn on health last week. “I think there is a very, very strong case for English votes for English laws but, if you take health for example, we know that because of the Barnett Formula that decisions on the English health service impact on the budget of the English health service and 
that has a direct knock-on effect for Scotland’s budget,” she said.

“That is why it would be perfectly legitimate, in those circumstances, for SNP MPs to vote on matters like that.”

She went on: “But I would also want to see SNP MPs being a constructive and progressive force in the House of Commons looking to make alliances for progressive politics where we can, working with parties like Plaid Cymru and the Green Party to be a progressive force.”

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