Ian Blackford warns Boris Johnson Scotland is ‘on a different path’ ahead of Queen’s Speech

Ian Blackford has warned Boris Johnson Scotland is “on a different path” ahead of the Queen’s Speech.

The SNP Westminster leader claimed the election results showed a clear divergence on how both administrations aimed to recover from the pandemic.

He said: “When it comes to recovery, Scotland voted for a parliament that will back transformative policies to create a fairer society, but instead the Tories are repeating the same damaging mistakes of the last economic crisis by imposing austerity cuts, a hard Brexit, a public sector pay freeze and slashing Universal Credit, pushing millions of people into poverty.

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“People in Scotland roundly rejected the Tories and voted for a strong, fair, and equal recovery – instead of the long-term damage of Tory cuts, Brexit and power grabs.

Queen Elizabeth II leaving Buckingham Palace for the State Opening of Parliament in central London. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

“If we are to deliver an investment-led recovery and the long-term fundamental changes needed to tackle inequality and build a fairer society, Scotland needs the full powers of an independent country.

“Once this crisis is over there will be a referendum, so that Scotland’s future is in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.”

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The Queen marks the beginning of the parliamentary session today by delivering the Queen's Speech, which sets out the UK Government's legislative plans.

The State Opening of Parliament is usually the most colourful event of the parliamentary year and is steeped in tradition and customs dating back centuries.

But because of the pandemic, the pomp and ceremony has been reduced to prevent any spread of coronavirus.

A spokesperson for No 10 said: “While we are still in the middle of a pandemic, this Queen’s Speech will look quite different, but it is important we take forward our plans and deliver policies to improve the lives of people across the country through a new parliamentary session.”

There will be more than 25 separate bills and pieces of legislation in the speech, including polices announced previously, but not yet passed.

The controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will be included, as will the Environment Bill, which focuses on protecting nature and tackling climate change post-Brexit.

Controversial new measures on tackling voting fraud are also expected to be introduced, such as the requirement for voter ID.

The UK Government has also confirmed there will be a planned overhaul of the asylum system to try to step migrants attempting to cross the Channel to reach the UK.

It is also expected to feature planning reforms to boost home ownership and infrastructure.

This could see automatic planning approval for homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices.

Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has also revealed plans to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act, which could pave the way for an early general election.

Introduced by former prime minister David Cameron in 2011, the Act tabled a fixed election date of every five years meaning the next would be in 2024.

Prior to the legislation, prime ministers could legally declare an election at any time within a five-year window.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "It will restore the status quo ante. It will ensure we have the constitution operating properly and don't have the absurd shenanigans that we had in 2019."

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