Scotland will put “constitutional games” behind it for good with Ruth Davidson as First Minister, the Scottish Conservative leader will say tomorrow.
Setting out her plan to replace Nicola Sturgeon in 2021, she will “build a better Scotland now” rather than blaming Westminster and agitating for independence.
Her government would be one of “will, shall and can” rather than “might, should or could”.
And she will tell delegates at the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen that the country must “get out of the trenches of the last decade of Yes and No, Leave and Remain, and work together to create a better nation for us all”.
In her keynote speech, she will add: “Our message is that we can prosper now. That we can back our businesses, build up our institutions and give future generations the skills to take on all comers. That right here, right now, Scotland can take on the world. There’s nothing stopping us.”
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will say:
“At the election in 2021, here’s the choice that people will face.
“The SNP saying ‘we KNOW we’ve had 14 years, but give us another five’.
“Arguing that they can’t make things better without putting us all through another referendum first.
“So it’s always going to be the case that their focus is on delivering that, not delivering peoples’ priorities.
“I have a more positive view of Scotland’s future.
“I reject their mantra that says we have to have a break up before we can possibly hope to prosper.
“I don’t see Scotland as subjugated, put upon or as held back.
“Our message is that we can prosper now. That we can back our businesses, build up our institutions and give future generations the skills to take on all comers.
“That right here, right now, Scotland can take on the world. There’s nothing stopping us.
“So that’s the choice.
“Between an SNP that doesn’t believe we can thrive for years into the future. And my team – which wants to get on with building a better Scotland NOW.
“And behind that – there’s a more fundamental difference about the way we see our country.
“The SNP chant that they’re about Standing up for Scotland. Great election slogan. I just take issue with the premise.
“I don’t believe you’re standing up for Scotland by making people in Scotland out to be helpless.
“I don’t believe you’re standing up for Scotland by flying to America and telling them that your country is being held back.
“Nor by opening the curtains on a sunny day and spending your time searching the horizon for a dark cloud. Then blaming it on Westminster.
“I don’t believe we’re helpless. Nor that we’re being held back. And enough Nationalist dark clouds.
“I think standing up for Scotland is meaningless if you’re not standing up for the quality of life of the people of Scotland, who just want a government that puts their interests first for once.
“So as First Minister, I won’t use every engagement with the UK Government as a chance to sow division. I’ll use it as a chance to deliver better government for the people who live here.
“And I’ll make a firm guarantee now: If I am elected Scotland’s next First Minister, there will be no more constitutional games and no more referenda. We’ve had enough to last a lifetime.
“No more Scotland being a country that ‘might’ or ‘should’ or ‘could’ do things.
“I want to live in a country that ‘will’, that ‘shall’, that ‘can’ act, and can act right now.
“So we’re not fighting each other – but fighting for each other.
“We’ve got to get out of the trenches of the last decade Yes and No, Leave and Remain - and work together to create a better nation for us all.
“And we need to start now.”