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Tory SP - A DEAL for Our Union
#1
(Posted with permisson from Mac)

Good afternoon everyone, and thank you all for coming.



In a few weeks time, one of two things will have happened. Either we will have a Conservative majority government, or the current situation will continue, and we will be facing many more months of unstable government. I want to talk with you today about the former, and what we as a party will do to protect the Union if we are elected. What we intend to do may at first seem obvious. We’re the only party who have committed ourselves entirely to maintaining the Union, by rejecting all calls for a second independence referendum and keeping pressure on the government to rule out agreeing to any SNP demands. We’re the only party who have promised to give all of the UK’s constituent nations the same level of devolution deal, as opposed to Labour’s promise to “consult” for Wales and promise no further devolution for Northern Ireland. And, perhaps most importantly, we’re the only party who refuses to work with Irish nationalists, to protect Northern Ireland’s place in the UK and prevent a border poll during the lifetime of the next parliament. It is clear that only we can be trusted on these issues. Labour’s shown they are willing to kowtow to nationalists and separatists, and the Lib Dems have gone along with them.


But I know that that alone is not enough. We cannot simply stand in opposition to Labour for the sake of opposing Labour. “We’re not them” is not a good enough reason to ask people to vote for them. For too long, we in Westminster across the political divides have taken the unionist vote for granted. We’ve always assumed that people will stick with the Union no matter what. With the rise of nationalist sentiments, from the SNP to Plaid and the Northern Irish parties, it is clear that our union now stands at a crossroads, and for it to survive we must offer something better than the nationalists can offer. And that is what I propose to do. We have developed a four part programme to defend, secure and build up our family of nations, to prove that when we are united as one there is nothing that we cannot do. These four nations, as part of the British Empire, defined the modern world as we know it today, and have shaped the West’s collective history. We can continue to do that, to shape history and to achieve great things together, but to do so we must approach this as a family of nations, united as one. This four point programme, like any good political programme, fits niftily into an acronym. We’re calling this one, quite simply, our DEAL for the Union, which I will now briefly outline.


Let’s get down to business. Firstly, D - devolve. The Scottish Parliament’s current devolution settlement is what I would consider the gold standard for devolution in this country. It is widely regarded by many as the most powerful devolved Parliament in the world, and that is something this country should be proud of. As an MSP for several years myself I’ve seen some of the good that we can achieve, and even if I have disagreed with the actions of the SNP, I firmly believe that the decisions that affect people’s lives should be taken as near to them as possible. But, as good as the Scottish Parliament may be, the other two devolved assemblies do not have the same powers as it. In a union of equals, we cannot allow this to continue any longer. A Conservative majority government will make sure Wales no longer feels like it’s Assembly is a powerless body, but that a new Senedd Cymru will have the same powers as the Scottish Parliament. There will be no long winded “consultation” that hampers progress - no ifs and no buts, Wales will have the same agreement. And, with the restoration of Stormont, Northern Ireland also deserves to have power on par with the rest of the devolved parliaments. This is equality, and this is the Conservative agenda.



E - Enrich. We will support the industry of all of the nations in our Union, and we will support the people of these countries to allow them to feel the full benefit of the Union. Through a UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we will replace EU structural funds in order to maintain the levels of investment that the EU had provided for regions. Contrary to what some may claim, nobody has to be poorer for Brexit - we will simply be taking these powers into our own hands. We have agreed growth deals for a number of UK cities, and two new ones are in the pipeline for Falkirk and the Western Isles in Scotland, whilst we continue to look at our options for bringing Wales into the growth deal fold. We’ll stop the construction of the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, a project that is projected to go grossly over budget, and instead spend the funds on investing in Wales in other areas that will create jobs and bring prosperity. And we’ll scrap the Wales Land Transaction Tax for first-time buyers to help people get on to the property market free from a punitive tax.



A for Achieve. I see the future of the UK as a future of scientific, technological and economic excellence, and our programme for government will be defined by that vision. We are promising £400 million in support for Scottish agriculture and to support the Scottish government in this area, as well as £2 billion for the Scottish Government to spend on healthcare. We will invest in a £50 million network of fast charging stations for electric vehicles in Wales to help towards achieving our targets on the environment. Further to our plans for the environment, we will invest in a state of the art science and technology hub in central Scotland, with a particular emphasis on green tech and helping our fight against climate change. As well as this, we will use next year’s COP 26 summit in Glasgow as an opportunity to show off the best of Scotland, and of the UK, and work internationally to achieve further progress.



Finally, L for Leave. To remain a United Kingdom, we must secure a Leave deal that respects our United Kingdom. Whilst Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to Remain in the EU, we must respect the will of the British people as a whole and leave fully, no ifs or buts. But we must respect the views and opinions of these two countries in regard to Brexit. If we are elected, I will personally meet with the heads of devolved governments on a regular basis in order to update them on the Prime Minister’s negotiations, and to make sure that all views are taken on board. Compromise is not a dirty word, and we must allow the views of the devolved heads of government to inform our plans and keep the integrity of our union secure.



These are our policies, this is our offer to you. This is our DEAL for the Union.
Julia Goldman
Shadow Secretary of State for Scoltand
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Growth
Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
Member of Parliament for Dumfries and Galloway (2019 - present)
Scottish Conservative and Unionist

Media Darling/Campaigning Guru/Socially Unaware
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#2
This is a decent enough pitch to Scottish and Welsh voters that undoubtedly helped your standing there. Trying to sell Leave to Scottish people does require a bit more graft than 'well, the British people voted for it' at this stage though.
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