Scottish independence referendum: Nicola Sturgeon is acting against the will of the people of Scotland – Pamela Nash

Yesterday was a significant day in Scottish politics. It was the day that the nation’s cancer treatment waiting time performance officially fell to a record low, causing untold pain and anguish for thousands.

At the same time, A&E performance fell to the fifth lowest level since records began, delayed discharge rates soared on the previous year, and it emerged that all key stroke care targets have been missed.

In the Scottish Parliament, a much-needed debate was planned on the catastrophic level of drug deaths in Scotland, but that debate ended up being postponed. Why? Because Nicola Sturgeon, once again, wanted to talk about independence.

What a dereliction of duty for a First Minister who is supposed to represent the entire nation.

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What a waste of resources and public money.

What a disgrace.

Nicola Sturgeon is acting against the will of the people of Scotland.

Poll after poll shows that the vast majority of us do not want a second referendum.

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Nicola Sturgeon must ensure the Scottish Government remains focused on the NHS and other vital services while pursuing her independence ambition (Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

Only around a third of people support another contest next year, according to recent polls.

And the majority of us want to remain part of the UK.

That’s because Scotland’s positive future is in the UK. Whatever you think of Boris Johnson and the current Government, they are, like all administrations, temporary.

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By remaining in the UK we can keep bringing together people and communities, keep the pound, avoid a hard border, invest in our NHS and schools, tackle the climate emergency, as well retaining our international influence as part of the UK.

With their warped priorities, the SNP and the Greens are completely out-of-touch.

The government should get on with the job of governing, and use time and resources to tackle the big problems like hospital waiting times.

Instead, 20 senior civil servants at the enormous cost of up to £1.2million have been tasked with working on Nicola Sturgeon’s obsession.

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Inevitably, the SNP created such a fuss about yesterday’s announcement that the BBC and other broadcasters focused on that - rather than the nationalists’ mismanagement of our NHS.

That suits the SNP just fine; anything to distract from its record in office.

Because yesterday was all about using the airwaves to appeal to hardcore nationalists.

Picking a date on a calendar doesn’t make a second referendum any more likely.

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But it does mean that we’re not talking about the reality of how the SNP is failing.

Sadly, the nationalists are not going to stop their negative campaign to divide us and turn inwards.

They thrive on grievance, conflict, and borders.

The positive case for leaving the UK simply doesn’t exist.

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That’s why Scotland’s best days are ahead of us as part of the UK, building a brighter future for everyone.

We trade more with the rest of the UK than we do with the rest of the world ensuring we can grow businesses and create jobs, we have a higher share of public spending to invest in schools and hospitals, and we have a seat at the global table at the UN, the G7 and NATO where we can influence the greatest challenges the world faces.

And perhaps most importantly, we can unite communities and bring people together.

That is the positive future for the country we love.

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Pamela Nash is chief executive of Scotland In Union

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