General Election 2019: Nicola Sturgeon warns 'Scotland’s future at risk''

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The First Minister has said the future of Scotland, the NHS and other public services are all under threat from a new Tory government, as she was accused of "double standards" on her approach to Brexit and independence.

In a keynote address in Dundee, Ms Sturgeon cited the "direct economic threat of Brexit", as well as a "threat to Scotland’s public sector workforce" from the ending of free movement, and the prospect of a "Tory power-grab" of Scottish Parliament powers.

Nicola Sturgeon was in Dundee on the election campaign trail, and said the future of Scotland was at stake.

Nicola Sturgeon was in Dundee on the election campaign trail, and said the future of Scotland was at stake.

The First Minister said that all elections "are important", but that this one "really matters" as "at stake is not just the next five years – but the future of Scotland."

And she reiterated her belief that Jeremy Corbyn would grant a section 30 order for a second independence referendum, to ensure he was able to secure a Labour government.

However she was decried as "deluded" by the Scottish Conservatives, who accused her of "double standards" in her desire to remain in the EU while wanting to leave the UK.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Neither Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson are fit to determine Scotland's future
Raising last night's ITV debate between Mr Corbyn and Boris Johnson, Ms Sturgeon said that 'the SNP and Scotland were talked about but not allowed to be in the room' and that Brexit was an extreme example of Scotland's democratic deficit and the "high price Scotland pays for Westminster control'.

She also claimed that despite "Tory austerity" her government had "prioritised investment in our NHS and other public services over tax cuts for the richest".

She added: "Make no mistake, it is now crystal clear that continued Westminster control means multiple threats to Scotland – to our economy and our living standards, and to our NHS and other public services."

Describing the "economic threat of Brexit" she warned that leaving the EU would lead to "lower economic growth and therefore lower tax revenue to fund public services", while Scotland's workforce would be threatened as freedom of movement ends.

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However her claims were criticised by Paul Masterton, Tory candidate for East Renfrewshire. He said: “Nicola Sturgeon spends every waking hour desperately talking up the downsides of the UK’s departure from the EU. Yet, when it comes to Scotland leaving our own union, she suddenly can’t see what the fuss is all about.

“According to her, we’d leave the UK and there’d be no borders, we’d stay out of the Euro, and we’d sort out our deficit at no cost whatsoever. The First Minister is utterly deluded. What’s remarkable is she doesn’t even seem to recognise her own double-standards.”

He also hit out at Ms Sturgeon's statement last night that her demands for a section 30 order from the next government, in order to hold a second independence referendum, would not be abated should Brexit be cancelled.

Today Ms Sturgeon said she had made no deal with Jeremy Corbyn on a second independence referendum but added : "I do believe if the parliamentary arithmetic enables this, then Jeremy Corbyn is not going to turn his back on an opportunity for a UK Labour government just because he's determined to block the right of the Scottish people to choose their own future.

"It would take a lot of explaining for him to say he was walking away from an opportunity because he wanted to veto Scotland's right to self- determination. This is a man who favours self-determination for virtually every other country on the planet, it would be a bit odd if he was to give up his chance at government."

The First Minister was also emphatic in her belief that a Conservative government would put Scotland "under threat", including a "Tory power grab on the Scottish Parliament in their pursuit of their Brexit vision."

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She added: “They’ve already used Brexit to grab powers from the Scottish Parliament. With the right-wing of the Tory party in full cry, can anyone have any confidence there won’t be a further power-grab attempt on Scotland’s Parliament as, UK wide, they compromise on workers’ rights and environmental standards?

“After all, the Tories are desperate to do a trade deal with Donald Trump. That could mean large rises in the cost of NHS drugs. And President Trump has said everything, including the NHS, is on the table.”

Ms Sturgeon added: "“Scotland’s future should not be dependent on the whims of Westminster."

But Mr Masteron added: “For three years, Nicola Sturgeon has claimed the Brexit vote as a justification for a second independence referendum. Now she’s confirmed that even if we were to remain in the EU, she’d demand another referendum next year anyway.

"Outside the EU or inside – it doesn’t matter; all that matters to Nicola Sturgeon is taking Scotland out of the UK. Voters at this election need to know - Nicola Sturgeon will play the ardent Remainer prior to December 12th– and then re-emerge as the ideological nationalist the day after. Every vote she wins will be used as a wedge to drive the UK apart.”