Brexit and climate change among priorities in Lib Dems’ plan for ‘brighter future’

By Craig Paton, PA Scotland Political Reporter

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have unveiled their plan for a “brighter future” following the General Election.

During a visit to Borders College in Galashiels, leader Willie Rennie laid out the party’s five priorities.

Stopping Brexit and Scottish independence, along with revamping mental health provisions, tackling climate change and providing free childcare from the age of nine months are all part of the plan.

Mr Rennie said a “Remain bonus” of £50 billion – money saved by staying in the EU – would be invested into public services.

If they take power after the next election, the Liberal Democrats will also push for mental ill health to be treated with the same urgency as a physical ailment and have pledged to ensure 80% of electricity in the country is generated using renewables by 2030.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Rennie said it was time to focus on problems other than “constitutional chaos”.

He said: “There are priorities that both of Scotland’s governments should be focused on tackling, instead of letting the debates about Brexit and independence rage on and on.

“Our performance on education is slipping and people are suffering because mental health services are not up to scratch. We can do so much better.

Mr Rennie has repeatedly said he believes Jo Swinson can be prime minister following the election (Aaron Chown/PA)

“The Liberal Democrats stand on the side of the majority of people in Scotland who want to see Scotland remain in the UK and the UK keep its place in the European Union.

“The SNP peddle the myth that it’s one or the other, but that’s not true. With a Liberal Democrat government, you can have both.

“In this election we have an opportunity to build a brighter future. On 12th December vote Liberal Democrat to do just that.”

Previously, the Liberal Democrat leader said stopping Brexit was the party’s number one priority.

Mr Rennie has also said he believes that leader Jo Swinson could be the next prime minister.