Gains for the Liberal Democrats will block Independence Bill, Rennie says

With just one week until Scotland goes to the polls, party leader Willie Rennie has said he will use a larger group of Liberal Democrat MSPs to block any attempt by any new government to bring forward the Independence Referendum Bill.  

The Bill was published by the last government just before the election and the nationalists are expected to try to introduce the Bill within days of the election.  

It is Liberal Democrat gains in this election that will be essential to block the Bill. 

Speaking as he visited a distillery in Perthshire, Willie Rennie said: 

“To recover from the worst health and economic crisis of the last 100 years, we cannot have the next Scottish Parliament distracted by independence.  

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Green supporters who oppose independence should join Lib Dems

Responding to new polling showing a higher percentage of Scottish Green party supporters oppose independence than support it, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:

“The leaders of the Scottish Greens seem totally out of step with their own membership. Just this week their co-leader was outlining wild plans to ditch the pound. It seems as if they have been totally captured by the SNP.

“The climate emergency requires urgent action but the Green party wants to waste five years on the distraction of an independence referendum. That will do nothing for tackling Scotland’s emissions.

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Rennie lays out plans for new Minister for Recovery

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have today set out proposals for a minister for recovery as part of their plan to put recovery first. 

The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, warned “every minute of the next Parliament must focus on the climate emergency, creating jobs, mental health and education.” 

Under the Scottish Liberal Democrat plan, a Recovery First Secretary would replace the Deputy First Minister in the government hierarchy and have responsibility for cross-government work on recovery. 

The party says the move, which would see civil service staff and resources moved from planning an independence referendum, will free the First Minister to continue to lead weekly briefings and take day-to-day decisions on the pandemic.  

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie said: 

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Fresh figures show scale of Scottish deficit

Responding to a new report from the Institute for Government which shows that even in 2018/19, before the Covid pandemic, Scotland ran a deficit of over 7% of GDP – more than twice the 3% level mandated for those hoping to join the EU, Scottish Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

"This is the second report in recent days to warn that an independent Scotland would be under huge economic pressure.

"Over the past few days we've seen nationalists threaten to ditch the pound and claim that borders create jobs. They shouldn't be trusted with a piggy bank, never mind the tens of billions in trade that Scotland does with the rest of the UK.

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Scottish and English football must unite against racism

Ahead of the social media blackout planned by English governing bodies and organisations this coming Friday 30th, Jamie Stone MP, Media and Sport spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats has called on Scottish Football to unite with their English counterparts and join the demonstration against racism and online abuse.

Mr Stone has written to the Scottish Professional Football Association (SPFL), Scottish Women’s Football (SWF), and Scottish Football Association (SFA) calling on them to observe the three-day social media blackout to stand against “invasive and venomous online racism.”

After sending the letter, Mr Stone commented:

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Rennie: Say no to the box of freaky nationalist arguments for the next five years

Willie Rennie has used a campaign visit to Eyemouth to make a direct appeal to SNP supporters concerned about arguments over independence consuming the country for the next five years.  

Mr Rennie highlighted the divisions in the nationalist camp in the last five days of the election campaign and said that votes for the Liberal Democrats would win extra seats that would force the parliament to put recovery first, not independence. 

Mr Rennie said:  

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Coronavirus Inquiry should start on day one of new parliament

As Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today said that a Coronavirus Inquiry should be set up on day one after the election to start learning lessons from the pandemic.

The party believes such an inquiry should make interim reports every six months so that early lessons can start being learned and improvements made to how Scotland continues to respond to the pandemic.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader also said that the Inquiry should include public health experts from other countries where the response to the early stages of the pandemic seem to have been more effective - for example New Zealand.

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie said:

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Carmichael: we cannot accept atrocious comment from an atrocious Prime Minister

Responding to Boris Johnson’s alleged recent comments saying he would rather bodies piled "high in their thousands" than order a third social and economic lockdown to stem coronavirus infections, Alistair Carmichael said:

"If this quote is correct, it is a truly atrocious comment from an atrocious Prime Minister. When Johnson himself was hospitalised well wishes flooded in from across the country, it's sad that he does not share the shame concern for others.

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Rennie bangs a gong for Highland voters to put Both Votes Lib Dem

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on Highland voters to give both votes to the Liberal Democrats as he said that the party were targeting seats across the North of Scotland.

Speaking in Inverness, Mr Rennie said:

"As Scotland opens up from the lockdown, I am delighted to be in the Highlands making the case for voters to back Liberal Democrat candidates on both ballots.

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Rennie unveils plan to support policing through mental health boost

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a campaign visit to a dry ski slope to set out plans to support policing through a mental health boost in an appeal to SNP voters frustrated with the SNP's record of complacency and distraction. 

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