Theresa May is trying to impose a Hard Brexit with the announcement of a snap general election, Nicola Sturgeon said, as she urged voters north of the border to ‘stand up for Scotland’.
The First Minister accused the Prime Minister of using the shock June 8 poll to seek to force the UK further to the right and ‘force through a Hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts’.
Sturgeon said: ‘The Tories see a chance to move the UK to the right, force through a Hard Brexit and impose deeper cuts. Let’s stand up for Scotland.’
The First Minister described the announcement as ‘one of the most extraordinary U-turns in recent political history’, adding that May is ‘once again putting the interests of her party ahead of those of the country’.
‘She is clearly betting that the Tories can win a bigger majority in England given the utter disarray in the Labour Party,’ she said. ‘That makes it all the more important that Scotland is protected from a Tory Party which now sees the chance of grabbing control of government for many years to come and moving the UK further to the right – forcing through a hard Brexit and imposing deeper cuts in the process.
‘That means that this will be – more than ever before – an election about standing up for Scotland, in the face of a right-wing, austerity-obsessed Tory government with no mandate in Scotland but which now thinks it can do whatever it wants and get away with it.’
Sturgeon said it was ‘a huge political miscalculation’ by the Prime Minister. She added: ‘It will once again give people the opportunity to reject the Tories’ narrow, divisive agenda, as well as reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists for giving the people of Scotland a choice on their future.
‘The SNP will always put the people of Scotland first – and between now and June 8, we will work harder than ever to retain the trust of the people.’
SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson said the General Election would be a ‘straight choice in Scotland’ between the SNP and the Tories.
With the Brexit vote and its aftermath having already resulted in a stand-off between the Prime Minister and Sturgeon over the prospect of a second vote on independence, Robertson said on Twitter: ‘Whatever happened to ‘now is not the time’? UK General Election: 8th June. Straight choice in Scotland between @theSNP and Tories. #VoteSNP’