Scottish nationalists treat politics like a game, says May

Theresa May has committed her government to the 0.7% of GDP as aid target if she wins the election, but MPs say her government has no plan on the Sustainable Development Goals. [European Council]

The Scottish National Party is treating politics as a game and obsessing over independence rather than focusing on improving public services in Scotland, UK Prime Minister Theresa May will say today (3 March).

Since last year’s Brexit vote, SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly said she could push for a new independence referendum if the country – which voted to remain in the European Union while England and Wales voted to leave – is forced into a clean break with the bloc.

Scots voted against independence in 2014 but government sources told Reuters last week it is increasingly confident it can win a new referendum and is considering calling one next year.

Sources: Scottish government considering independence vote next year

The Scottish government is increasingly convinced it can win a new independence referendum and is thinking seriously about calling one next year as Britain exits the European Union, sources close to the Scottish government said on Thursday (23 February).

May, who insists there should be no second independence referendum, will criticise the SNP, which governs Scotland from its devolved parliament, in an address to her Conservative Party’s Scottish conference in Glasgow.

“Politics is not a game and the management of devolved public services in Scotland is too important to be neglected,” she will say, according to advance extracts released by her office.

“People in Scotland deserve a first minister who is focused on their priorities – raising standards in education, taking care of the health service, reforming criminal justice, helping the economy prosper, improving people’s lives.”

Scottish minister: Scotland faces being Brexit collateral damage

Scotland’s Europe minister has demanded a separate Brexit deal for Scotland, which would separate its immigration system from the rest of the UK, retain freedom of movement and maintain EU single market access. Otherwise, Fiona Hyslop warns Scotland faces suffering collateral damage caused by the British government.

“Just this week we have learned that the SNP government has delayed its planned education bill, such is their obsession with the single issue of independence,” the address continues.

UK Scotland Minister David Mundell said that he was confident the government could seal a divorce deal with the EU that would win over the people of Scotland but may never be able to please the SNP.

Shetland Islands toy with idea of post-Brexit independence

Of all the consequences of the Brexit vote, the fate of the Shetland Islands in the North Atlantic and their oil fields and fisheries may not top the list for negotiators in Westminster and Brussels. But it soon might.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.