Speaking after the First Minister’s statement to the Scottish Parliament setting out her priorities for the next term, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
“The First Minister promised this would be a parliament focused on recovery and she would defer a referendum until the effects of the pandemic were over.
“I’m disappointed to see the First Minister announce plans which would push the recovery aside.
“She has re-announced a host of commitments that her government has failed to deliver in their last three terms in power.
“The emerging Green pact is a sign that independence is the overriding priority. It appears they have even swept aside their fundamental differences on oil and gas to smooth the path to a referendum.
“I’ve worked closely with ministers over the last 16 months to help get the country through the pandemic and to agree extra funds for mental health and education. We will continue to hunt for agreement with others.
“It’s important that patients don’t wait longer that twelve weeks for NHS treatment, young people get mental health treatment within eighteen weeks, that we save more people from death from drugs and the poverty related attainment gap is closed completely in schools. All these major issues must be delivered before the government presses for another referendum.”