“SCOTLAND cannot trust the likes of Boris Johnson and Liam Fox” first minister Nicola Sturgeon has told delegates at the SNP conference in Glasgow.
Announcing that her administration hopes to strengthen Scotland’s trade ties with EU countries she said the nation remains “the progressive, internationalist, communitarian country that the majority of us living here want it be.”
“The primary contest of ideas in our country is now between the SNP and the hard-right Tories” she continued, addressing the week’s developments which suggest a ‘hard Brexit’ is on the cards.
The Nationalist leader said that there would be no rush to a second independence referendum, having already unveiled draft legislation that would provide for a rerun of the narrowly lost 2014 vote.
She reached out to moderate conservatives and Labour voters by pledging to “influence the whole of the UK away from a hard Brexit” but added:
“If all that fails then I think Scotland does have the right to ask itself again does it want to stay part of the UK coming out of the EU or does it want to choose a different and in my view a better path because the UK we voted to stay part of in 2014 is not the UK we now face the prospect of.”
Deputy first minister John Swinney also promised EU students that they would still receive free education at Scotland’s universities even after Brexit.
He was highly critical of home secretary Amber Rudd’s speech at the Conservative Party conference which hinted that the fate of EU citizens in Britain would depend on how UK nationals fared abroad.
“They are not cards to be played,” Swinney intoned. “They are human beings. To use them as negotiating chips is obscene and we will have no part of it.”