Supreme Court independence referendum ruling: Next general election is about kicking out the Tories, despite what Nicola Sturgeon says – Ian Murray

Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t get to decide what people are voting for when the next General Election is called. The voters do.

And I’m confident that people want to vote on what really matters. That’s the cost-of-living crisis, soaring energy bills, the future of our NHS, the attainment gap in our schools and many other vital issues. Not independence, which is only supported by a minority of Scots, and even those who do support it don’t think it is a priority right now. There is no such thing as a “de facto referendum”, whatever Nicola Sturgeon claims.

She is simply scrambling for relevance because she knows only Labour can boot out the Tories and form the next government. The next election is a simple choice between a Labour government that will build a fairer, greener country – or more of the same under another Conservative government. That’s what is at stake when Scottish voters go to the polls.

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The campaign must focus on the problems facing households right across the country. In fact, our entire political debate should be focused on this.

We now have the legal clarity provided by the Supreme Court. Thank you’s must be given to the justices for reaching their unanimous verdict in a speedy manner. It’s now time for both the Scottish and UK governments to work together in the interest of the Scottish people.

The First Minister was elected on a promise to “put recovery first” – her decision to turn her back on these issues and focus on the SNP’s own narrow constitutional obsession demonstrates how out of touch she has become.

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While thousands of Scots are forced to choose between heating and eating, the NHS is in crisis with A&E waiting times out of control, people in Edinburgh cannot get a GP appointment, our public transport networks are barely functioning, and the climate crisis is growing, her priorities are all wrong.

And she now wants the next General Election to be a referendum and discard priorities of most Scots. Just this week, it was revealed that NHS chiefs in Scotland have discussed the privatisation of the NHS due to its problems.

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What Scotland, and the UK, needs is a Labour government led by Keir Starmer (Picture: Stefan Rousseau/WPA pool/Getty Images)

Labour’s greatest achievement, perhaps the country’s greatest achievement, at risk of being eliminated after 15 years of SNP mismanagement. Saving our public services and growing the economy should preoccupy the minds of ministers in both Westminster and Holyrood.

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A Labour government will reset the relationship between the UK Government and devolved nations, working together for the benefit of all. There’s not a majority in Scotland for a referendum or independence, but neither is there a majority for the status quo.

There is, however, a majority for change. So, a Labour government will deliver the change that Scotland and the UK needs. That means putting fairness back at the heart of our politics, getting people the help they need in these difficult times, supporting businesses so they can create jobs, and tackling the climate crisis.

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Everyone, wherever they live in the UK, deserves better than more misery and decline under the Tories and more paralysis from the same old argument from the SNP. Change is coming, and Scottish voters have a vital role in the next General Election by helping to elect a Labour government.

Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South