Scottish independence: Ian Blackford says at PMQs that Scotland 'already paying price' for not being independent

Ian Blackford has claimed Scotland has “already paid the price” for not being independent.

The SNP Westminster leader told the Commons that Scotland was being hit by a “damaging Brexit” and it was time to leave.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Blackford also claimed the UK Government could not “block Scottish democracy”.

He said: “Scotland has already paid the price for not being independent.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London.

“Westminster governments we did not vote for imposing policies we don’t support, breaking international law, dragging Scotland through a damaging Brexit we didn’t vote for and delivering deep austerity cuts.”

Pointing to other European countries doing well, Mr Blackford added: “Why not Scotland? In the weeks and months ahead, we will make the positive case for independence.

"Will the opposition, if they can, make the case for continued Westminster rule?”

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab called for both governments to work together and focus on what matters.

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He said: “It’s not the right time for another referendum given the challenges that we face as one United Kingdom, and I think – he referred to some of the challenges in Scotland – the people of Scotland want their two governments to work together and we’re keen, willing, enthusiastic to do so.”

Mr Blackford then accused the Tories of fearing “democratic debate”.

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP continued: “Just last year [Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross] put it in his own words – a vote for the Scottish National Party is another vote for an independence referendum.

“Well, you won’t often hear me say this, but I agree with him, and so do the Scottish people.

“So why is the UK Government scared of democracy or has it simply run out of ideas to defend the failing Westminster system?”

Mr Raab replied: “I think he’s rather airbrushing history with that long soliloquy, but he mentioned the problems that Scotland faces – a huge tax burden imposed by the SNP, Scotland’s record on science and maths under the international Pisa rankings have dropped below England and Wales, and the SNP have presided over the worst drug death rate in Europe – the highest since records began.

“I think the people of Scotland expect their governments in Holyrood and Westminster to work together to tackle the issues facing them in their day-to-day lives.”

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