Ruth Davidson says 'SNP is not Scotland' as she clashes with Sturgeon on independence

Tareq Haddad
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Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, has said the Scottish National Party (SNP) does not represent the people of Scotland as it prepares the country for another independence referendum.

Following a week of back-and-forth between Holyrood and Westminster on the subject, the Scottish Conservatives leader and MSP for Edinburgh Central said she was "furious" at SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon for thinking that a vote to remain in the European Union was a "green light" for independence.

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In spite of the SNP holding 56 of the 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons and holding a majority in the Scottish Parliament, Davidson said a majority of Scottish people do not support the party's aspirations for leaving the UK.

"I don't think you can have an independence referendum again if you don't have public consent for it," Davidson said, as she appeared on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (19 March).

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"And the people of Scotland don't want this. We see another poll today to add to the many dozen that we've seen since June of last year that shows that the majority of people don't want this.

"I know that this is hard from 450 miles away… but I have to tell people, the SNP is not Scotland and they're acting against the majority of wishes of the people of Scotland in what they put forward in their proposition on Monday."

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Davidson also hit out at Sturgeon for failing to clarify what currency an independent Scotland would use, whether it would have its own central bank and whether Scotland would seek to re-join the EU as a member state.

However, appearing on Sky News' political programme Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Sturgeon confirmed an independent Scotland would look to become part of the union once again.

"In 2014, when I was arguing the case for independence, the UK was very firmly in the EU," Sturgeon said.

"The UK is now going to be coming out of the EU so we have to set out very clearly to the people of Scotland before asking them to make this choice the root of the process we would take to transition from where we are now to being in a relationship with Europe that was right for Scotland.

"So, that's detail that requires to be set out, but I do believe it's right for Scotland to remain in that European family of nations – not instead of trading with the UK, but in addition to that.

She added: "It's really important to be in the single market. It's important for investment, for jobs, to protect the rights of ourselves to follow jobs or careers in other European countries and vice versa – it's important for all of these reasons so, yes, I do think that [re-joining the EU] is important. It's also what people in Scotland voted for."

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