Conservative foreign secretary Dominic Raab has claimed the issue of Scottish independence is a “distraction” from the SNP’s domestic record.
Raab pointed to what he identified as failings of the Scottish Government in education and taxation.
Speaking on the BBC he said Scotland would be able to take hold of the benefits of Brexit, although he did not go into what the benefits would be.
In response to accusations there was no plan for Scotland, the MP for Eshor and Walton said: “I don’t think that’s right, we want to make sure, with the levelling up agenda, with the opportunities of Brexit right across the board, that Scotland’s got the great opportunity to take advantage of all those benefits.
“At the same time, we obviously expect the SNP to deliver on its commitment to honour the outcome of the independence referendum and not keep coming back and asking for a second one.
“But a lot of this is a distraction from the standards in schools, the high level of taxes, that actually the job of the Scottish Government in discharging its responsibility to the Scottish people ought to be focused on.”
The UK leaving the EU – following a vote where 62% of the Scottish electorate wanted to stay – represents a “material change in circumstances” and along with SNP victories in Scottish and General Elections should be enough reason for another referendum, according to the Scottish Government, a view recently echoed by the country’s biggest trade union Unison.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week unveiled proposals for a separate visa system for Scotland, in a bid to ensure the working-age population does not reduce in the coming decades.
However, the proposals were rejected by Westminster within hours of publication.
Raab questioned the viability of the proposals – which would see migrants apply for a different visa which would only allow them access to Scotland.
He said: “The question will be how can that work in practice? Either it’s unworkable or it would be so draconian, because you’d have to require people in the United Kingdom to stay in one part of the United Kingdom. I think the questions are all on the SNP’s side.”
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