Nicola Sturgeon promises to make Scotland ‘best country in the world to live and work’

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Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to make Scotland “the best country in the world to live, work, and do business” ahead of a Holyrood debate today which is expected to see a majority of MSPs back a motion rejecting a Hard Brexit.

The First Minister will back the motion which calls for an extension to Article 50 to find the best way forward to protect the interests of the UK as a whole.

Nicola Sturgeon visited Forth Valley College in Grangemouth yesterday as part of  Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week. Picture: Michael Gillen

Nicola Sturgeon visited Forth Valley College in Grangemouth yesterday as part of Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Week. Picture: Michael Gillen

MSPs will vote simultaneously with members of the National Assembly for Wales, who are also expected to back the motion.

“As Brexit chaos continues at Westminster, and as the UK Government fails to deliver any domestic policy agenda worthy of the name, the Scottish Government is getting on with the job of delivering policies which will make a real difference to people’s lives,” Ms Sturgeon wrote in the Evening Times.

“Last week marked a number of important milestones towards Scotland becoming a fairer country – which is a key objective of the SNP Scottish Government.

“One of those milestones was the publication of our Fair Work Action Plan. The SNP wants to make Scotland be the best country in which to live, work, invest and do business. At the heart of this ambition lies our commitment to fair work.

“For employees fair work means decent wages, secure contracts and just working practices. Fair work is not only right in principle, it also results in better health and greater wellbeing for workers. In turn this drives creativity, innovation and productivity. It also reduces staff turnover, which means increased profitability for businesses.

“With employment reserved to Westminster, Scotland does not yet have the powers to make fair work a legal requirement, but that doesn’t stop us from taking as much action as we can to encourage fair work practices.

“For years the Scottish Government has championed good employment practices through schemes such as the Scottish Business Pledge and Living Wage accreditation, and we are now strides ahead of the rest of the UK in many areas.”

A Scottish Conservatives spokesman said: “The independence blueprint soon to be adopted as SNP party policy would subject Scotland to years of austerity on stilts and eye-watering tax increases.

“That’s the kind of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon wants.”