General Election 2019: Nicola Sturgeon won’t rule out SNP support for Labour

Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out the prospect of the SNP striking a confidence-and-supply deal with Labour if Jeremy Corbyn’s party fails to secure a majority in the House of Commons.

The First Minister spoke with broadcasters this morning as her party prepares for the start of the official election campaign on Wednesday.

Asked by Sky News if Nationalists would support a minority Labour government, similar to how the deal which saw the DUP support Theresa May’s previous administration, Ms Sturgeon said: “Let’s see what the arithmetic is. There will be no formal coalition, it would be issue by issue.”

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She continued: “We will see what the circumstances are. I would favour more, and I think more likely to end up in, a situation where we support some things but not others.”

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Meanwhile, asked by Good Morning Britain if she would push for further referendums if an IndyRef2 was lost, the SNP leader said: “Your question is hypothetical or at least I’m going to treat it as hypothetical because I think if, when, Scotland makes this choice again it will choose independence but I guess the more philosophical point here is in a democracy is it ever right for politicians to tell the voters that they’re not allowed to change their mind?

“I mean referendums can either be final or they can be democratic because in a democracy when circumstances change voters should always have the right to change their minds, just as they do in elections every few years so I guess that’s the more fundamental and philosophical point but of course I’m confident that when Scotland makes this choice again it will choose to be independent”

Kirstene Hair, Tory MP for Angus said: “Nicola Sturgeon has made clear again today that she is prepared to put Jeremy Corbyn into No 10.

“When she says she would drive a hard bargain for Scotland in talks with Mr Corbyn, what she means is she’ll demand a hard deadline for another referendum on independence – as early as next year.

“What’s become clear from the first week of this campaign is that Mr Corbyn would cave in immediately. As his own front bench allies have made clear, when it comes to a second referendum, they are not going to stand in the way of that.

“The stakes at this election could not be higher. Nicola Sturgeon is already being given access to the civil service if the result goes her way. We must not let her use this election to take Scotland back to more division, and a second referendum on independence next year."

Speaking ahead of a campaign stop in Dalkeith today, the First Minister said Scotland must have the opportunity to escape “a lost decade of Brexit chaos".

Ms Sturgeon said: “Even if Boris Johnson was to get his deal passed, that would only be the beginning – not the end – of trade talks with the EU. EU trade negotiations with other countries have taken many years to complete.

"And, regardless of what happens now, the issue of Brexit is certain to dominate Westminster politics for many years to come. We’re already sick of Brexit – we don’t want it to go on another ten years or more.

“So Scotland must not face a lost decade of Brexit chaos that we didn’t vote for.

On the prospect of a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump, the First Minister continued: “We know that Boris Johnson is desperate to do a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump - and that means there is a clear threat that our NHS could be up for grabs as part of discussions.

“The SNP will not stand for that. So if Brexit does happen, the SNP will demand that Scotland has a veto over any trade deals.

“Health is the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament, and no UK government should be able to sell out our NHS against our wishes. Instead, Holyrood should - along with other devolved legislatures - be required to give its official approval to any proposed trade deals before they are able to take effect."