Scotland is “being held back by Westminster”, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has told MPs.
Mr Blackford referenced the Scottish Government’s plans to hold a second independence referendum, as he questioned the Prime Minister at PMQs in the Commons.
He warned: “Scotland simply can’t afford to remain trapped in the failing Westminster system. Stop the world – Scotland wants to get on.”
Boris Johnson defended the Government’s economic record, responding: “What could be more foolish than a project that actually envisages trade barriers within parts of the UK?”
He added: “I think there are other subjects in the national conversation right now.”
Mr Blackford told MPs: “Yesterday our First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon) started a national conversation on Scotland’s right to choose an independent future. When you look at nations like Iceland, Ireland, Norway and Denmark, it is clear that our neighbours are outperforming the UK. They deliver greater equality, lower poverty rates, higher productivity, social mobility and business investment.”
He added: “The evidence is overwhelming, Scotland is being held back by Westminster. Prime Minister, all those countries can use the powers of independence to create wealthier, fairer and greener societies – why not Scotland?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I don’t doubt (his) talents as a conversationalist but I think there are other subjects in the national conversation right now and they include what we’re doing to come through the aftershocks of Covid, with the strongest jobs-led recovery of any European economy.”
Mr Blackford raised the cost of living, warning “people have to live with the reality of a failing Westminster system”.
He said: “Stronger together? Has the Prime Minister seen the pound? I think the financial markets are giving their judgment on this Prime Minister.
“The Prime Minister can afford to live in his own little world, his own Little Britain, but people have to live with the reality of a failing Westminster system.
“A cost-of-living crisis worse in the UK, than any other G7 country. An inflation rate double that of France, the second-worst economic growth forecasts in the G20, next to only sanctioned Russia.
“Now, a threat of a trade war with our European friends triggered by a law-breaking Prime Minister. That is not a vision for the future of Scotland.
“Our nation, our nation is big enough, rich enough and smart enough. Isn’t it the case, Prime Minister, that Scotland simply can’t afford to remain trapped in the failing Westminster system? Stop the world – Scotland wants to get on.”
Mr Johnson referenced the Covid pandemic response.
He replied: “The UK has record numbers of people in payroll employment, that’s an astounding thing when you consider where we were during the pandemic, that was because of the UK working well together, as he will remember, with the vaccine rollout, with the testing – which Scotland and the rest of the country co-operated brilliantly.
“He talks about a trade war – what could be more foolish than a project that actually envisages trade barriers within parts of the UK? That’s what we’re trying to break down.”