Time for SNP to ‘face reality’ on broken independence case

At First Minister’s Questions today, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said she risked her reputation by continually defending her party’s pre-referendum claims.

The Scottish Government claimed every Scot would be £500 better in the event of a Yes vote, largely based on healthy oil revenues.

However, Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures released this week showed a starkly contrasting scenario, revealing an independent Scotland would start life with a £15 billion black hole.

Ruth also pointed out that she told former First Minister Alex Salmond two years ago that the SNP was being “wildly optimistic” about oil.

This is despite recent SNP rhetoric that “everyone got it wrong” on oil revenues.

Today, Ms Sturgeon refused to accept the case for independence was dead, instead repeating her line that critics of the SNP were merely “talking Scotland down”.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“It’s now time for the SNP to face reality and accept the economic case for independence is dead.

“The SNP prospectus for separation is broken – the party knew it then and knows it now.

“The discredited White Paper will live on as a black spot on the First Minister’s reputation.

“No-one trusts Alex Salmond’s assertions and, as someone who led the independence drive, Nicola Sturgeon has to distance herself from the fanciful and misleading claims that campaign made.

“The Scottish Conservatives stood up and repeatedly warned about the volatility of oil prices, yet the SNP always claimed – with some indignation – that the figures were ‘robust’.

“That was a shameless con to try and convince people to vote for independence.

“This week’s GERS figures made it quite clear that we dodged a bullet by voting No in 2014.

"I thank each and every one of Scotland’s two million people who voted to stay part of the UK, and the SNP would do well to acknowledge their role in safeguarding Scotland’s economic health.”