18/03/2017 Scottish National Party Conference


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18/03/2017

Andrew Kerr presents live coverage of the Scottish National Party Conference from the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, including the keynote speech by Nicola Sturgeon.


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Welcome to our coverage of the SNP's spring conference in Aberdeen.

:00:16.:00:20.

At 3:30, we'll hear from the party leader, Nicola Sturgeon,

:00:21.:00:22.

We'll have that live, as conference gears

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Conference, this challenge comes down to Scotland against the Tories,

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and this time, Scotland is going to win. Thank you.

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APPLAUSE And I will bring you all of the news

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and analysis from the conference centre in Aberdeen.

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The SNP conference is rounding off quite

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The First Minister called for a second referendum.

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This afternoon, we wait to hear Nicola Sturgeon's next steps.

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Our political editor Brian Taylor is standing

:01:05.:01:10.

by at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

:01:11.:01:16.

Good afternoon, Brian. What a week in politics. Good afternoon. It's

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been quite something, hasn't it? From the First Minister's

:01:27.:01:30.

declaration that she was demanding a transfer of powers to bring about a

:01:31.:01:34.

referendum, to the Prime Minister saying: certainly not happening

:01:35.:01:39.

during the period of Brexit. What do we expect from Nicola Sturgeon? I

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think she reach out beyond the conference hall to those who are

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watching at home who perhaps just feel a little bit weary about the

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idea of a second referendum at this stage. I think she will say she

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understands that point, she empathises with it to some degree,

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but I think she will try and turn the argument around, purely from the

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European Union, to say it is about the sort of country that Scotland

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is, or rather, can be. She has made the argument before, but I think she

:02:11.:02:13.

would try to argue that, on the one hand, you have the option of a hard

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right concept of Brexit. On the other hand, she will say that you

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have the option of an independent Scotland with a progressive

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standpoint. I don't think she will neglect the day job, a phrase which

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has been used by several ministers, in which they say the independent

:02:31.:02:34.

argument is central to the wider interests of Scotland. I expect some

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policy announcements on health, education and the economic sector,

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but the biggest issue, Andrew, will be the issue of a referendum. Had

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evening delegates are viewing this? Would hesitantly optimistic be a

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good phrase? -- how do you think delegates are viewing this? I think

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there is a determination in the audience, but I think there is also

:03:00.:03:02.

a point that John Swinney made at the end of his speech. His speech

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was primarily about policy, about education and their education

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record, defending it vigorously, but at the end he turned to independents

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and he for cool heads on this. In other words, he said it was not a

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time to be vigorous ranting raving or whatever. It was a time to argue

:03:24.:03:29.

the case with the Prime Minister, and the point you are hearing from

:03:30.:03:32.

SNP leaders, from the leader of the Scottish Government is that they

:03:33.:03:38.

believe the Prime Minister's case is unsustainable. But she believes that

:03:39.:03:42.

now is not the time, the phrase she used, leading up to and beyond the

:03:43.:03:46.

period of Brexit, but she is not prepared to sanction discussions at

:03:47.:03:51.

all at the moment on the question of independence. She isn't even

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prepared to talk about it. She says, get Brexit out of the way, let it

:03:55.:03:59.

settle down, and then maybe perhaps, presumably at a time of the Prime

:04:00.:04:04.

Minister's choosing. Of course, that is unacceptable to Nicola Sturgeon.

:04:05.:04:08.

We have got a complete stand-off. Much more from Brian later.

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I'm now joined by Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University.

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Good afternoon, John. Thank you for being with us again. Quite a week in

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politics. What is your reading of the situation, and how do you think

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Nicola Sturgeon might perhaps try and move things on from the current

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impasse? I think the situation is clear, in that certainly Nicola

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Sturgeon's opening gambit is, I would like to hold a referendum. As

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the Brexit negotiations are coming to a conclusion, but before Scotland

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has left the UK. Why does she want to do that? In truth, probably

:04:47.:04:48.

because she reckons that is the point in the process where there

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might be thought to be greatest uncertainty about the status quo.

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Given that one of the things that was disadvantageous to the argued

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that the referendum was the bidding for some but, well, at least we know

:05:02.:05:05.

what Great Britain is about and we can hang on to the status quo

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whereas, if we go for independence, there is a of uncertainty. When she

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talks about there being a choice, she is saying that she wants people

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to choose between two uncertainties, without it all on my side of the

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argument. Theresa May, in contrast, is saying that she doesn't want it

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on that time frame on the other hand, she clearly doesn't feel able

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to say no, even though many a Conservative politician in Scotland

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has said that people in Scotland don't want this, and why are we for

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a generation which she seems to be saying, we should now wait to see

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how Brexit falls out before making a choice. I think the subtext is

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clear, which is that she would like to be able to delay this referendum

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until after May 2021, when we are due to having another election in

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Scotland for the Scottish parliament and maybe the SNP will their

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majority. The difficulty with her position is, can she really string

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out delaying the referendum for yet another two years? I think the fact

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that Nicola Sturgeon at the back end up yesterday, said she is willing to

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negotiate over the date may well mean that Theresa May fans Belize

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find in the end it is quite difficult to say, well, maybe it

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shouldn't be in September 2019 or 710 -- or September 20 20. John,

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thank you. Much more from you later. The SNP deputy leader is with Brian.

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Thank you. I am joined by Angus Robertson. Mr Robertson, an issue

:06:41.:06:43.

that we think the First Minister is going to address and others have

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addressed is just offering understanding that some people,

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perhaps even including those in the independence Yes camp, are a bit

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weary about a referendum in this stage, or in the timescale set out

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by the Prime Minister. I think there is definitely a feeling of people

:07:02.:07:04.

being unsettled because there is a lot going on, not just with Brexit

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but internationally. I think people have concerns, and we have to

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recognise that, but I think what the First Minister is going to be

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reflecting on is that doing nothing is really not an option. Otherwise,

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things will just happen to us and we will not be the masters of our own

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destiny. That is why we need to understand that we have options. We

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should have a say, we should be able to determine our future and not have

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the hardest, most dangerous and damaging form of Brexit foisted on

:07:34.:07:36.

us in Scotland, given that we didn't even vote for it. Ward is there any

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way you can envisage of ending this impasse between the governments? I

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think so, because the timescale is all-important. We understand, when

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the negotiations start, the Article 50 process, it will take about two

:07:53.:07:56.

years and one will be negotiating for most of that I agree that one

:07:57.:08:01.

should be able to concentrate on the negotiations, and one would only

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choose on one would accept or reject what has been negotiated after that.

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It's important to understand that, in the last months of this two-year

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process, there will be a process of approval in Britain, in the House of

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Commons and House of Lords, which isn't even elected, and the European

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Parliament across 27 member states. When we get to that stage, I think

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it will be totally unsustainable for UK Government to suggest that

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everybody else, in London, Brussels, across Europe, that they will have a

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choice about Scotland's future but the only place we will not be able

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to determine that is in our own country. So I think in that period

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is the optimal one when we could have a referendum, and I think it is

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an inevitability that the Prime Minister will have to agree with

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one. But you want talks with the Prime Minister now about the section

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30 transfer of powers to Hollywood. That means in practice that the

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referendum campaign would be underway, and the Prime Minister

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would say that is the wrong thing to be doing while you are trying to

:09:03.:09:05.

focus on Britain's departure from the EU. -- transfer of powers to

:09:06.:09:11.

Holyrood. We should bear in mind there will be a debate in the

:09:12.:09:15.

Scottish Parliament next week. I think the anticipation is that a

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majority in our Parliament will vote for there to be a referendum. Given

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that we are supposed to be in a democracy, when our parliament voted

:09:23.:09:26.

in favour of something, the UK Government shouldn't take that

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likely, so I would appeal to the Prime Minister to reflect carefully

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on what she is saying. She has not said never. I agree that now is not

:09:34.:09:37.

the time, but at some stage we will need to get the ball rolling on the

:09:38.:09:41.

technicalities of how a referendum would work. The good news is that we

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have had one, so we know how to do it, so it doesn't need to be long

:09:46.:09:50.

and drawn out. Is the Scottish government willing as a government

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to extend autumn 18 to spring 19? She suggested there might be

:09:58.:10:00.

discussions with the Prime Minister. Are you willing to look at 2019?

:10:01.:10:08.

People in Scotland should be able to determine our future before we are

:10:09.:10:13.

taken out of the EU. If we are taken out of the EU, that is obviously

:10:14.:10:17.

disregarding the 62% of people in our country voted to remain. There

:10:18.:10:21.

is a sweet spot, but it could move, because we don't know exactly when

:10:22.:10:25.

the would end, we know that there will be a hard backstop on the

:10:26.:10:29.

two-year period. Some people are saying that there may be extensions

:10:30.:10:34.

from the negotiations agreed with the EU... So 2019 is probably the

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last date. We don't know. Between the end of the and the period where

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the UK would formally leave. You have said that Scotland will have

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its say. Does that mean, if the Prime Minister doesn't budge, that

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you go ahead with some form of unofficial, unsanctioned referendum?

:10:56.:10:58.

I am focused on persuading the Prime Minister. ... Is that a possibility?

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I understand that he wanted to ask questions from ten different angles

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but I think, given that we have a referendum on our country's future,

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we know the format and how it works, I think that is what will happen. We

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need to persuade the Prime Minister that, as a democrat, she should

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understand that Scots should be able to determine their own future and

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have a choice once the negotiations are underway. I appreciate that is

:11:27.:11:31.

your objective, but is it feasible to hold an unsanctioned referendum?

:11:32.:11:35.

It isn't the route we are looking to go down. We are looking to secure

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agreement with the UK Government. After all, if the UK Government was

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simply to say, it's impossible, you can never choose about your future,

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it starts getting very difficult for the Prime Minister to sustain an

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argument that the United Kingdom is based on respect and a partnership

:11:52.:11:55.

of equals, and she herself will do more to undermine the UK than

:11:56.:12:00.

anybody else. But if the grandest said that she will consult, she was

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keen to have engagement with the Scottish Government, but she didn't

:12:06.:12:08.

say that you have to agree before she proceeded with Article 50. She

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said she wanted a UK wide approach before triggering Article 50 but

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that would be in agreement. She said she wouldn't be triggering Article

:12:19.:12:23.

50 until she thought we had a UK approach and objectives for

:12:24.:12:25.

negotiations, but couldn't that just be that she has formulated policy in

:12:26.:12:31.

Downing Street? No doubt she is arguing that, but the idea that the

:12:32.:12:34.

Prime Minister in London with only one MP in Scotland, that she

:12:35.:12:39.

understands the views of people in Scotland, it isn't credible. If you

:12:40.:12:43.

want to work with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you have to do

:12:44.:12:46.

it. She doesn't have agreement. There are still some days and weeks

:12:47.:12:50.

to do it and I would encourage her to do it. Angus Robertson, thank

:12:51.:12:51.

you. Now, the youngest MP in the Commons,

:12:52.:12:55.

Mhairi Black, received a standing ovation when she told

:12:56.:12:58.

delegates she's "going nowhere There's been speculation

:12:59.:13:00.

about whether she would want The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire

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South was speaking in a debate I should start by making clear the

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conference and to party members and also to my constituents that,

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despite recent media reports from various outlets, I am going nowhere

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until the job's done. CHEERING

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Now, while my disdain for Westminster is no secret, and my

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desire for there to be no need for me to have to be there should be no

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surprise, I have to say that the Tory in a fit sanctions regime has

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to be one of the worst things to ever come out of that place. -- the

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Tory benefit sanctions regime. I have heard truly harrowing stories

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from people throughout the UK who have struggled to feed themselves,

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to clothe themselves and to keep a roof over their head, because the UK

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Government has left them with absolutely nothing. There is a new

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MP -- as a new MP, I said I would try to make some small but

:14:24.:14:28.

effective, common-sense changes to benefit sanctions, so last year I

:14:29.:14:32.

secured a private members bill, a rare opportunity for backbench MPs

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to create a law, and I wanted to ensure that a person's mental and

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physical health, the care and responsibilities and risk of

:14:41.:14:43.

homelessness had to be taken into account before any sanction could be

:14:44.:14:47.

applied. Of course, the bill was shot down. Very few Labour MPs

:14:48.:14:51.

showed up to support the bill and the Tory minister proceeded to talk

:14:52.:14:56.

it out. Tory MPs didn't believe and couldn't imagine how anyone could

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suffer under their amazing system. I told them that they should watch the

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incredibly powerful and absolutely gut-wrenching film by the very

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talented Ken Loach, I Daniel Blake. And I would still urge anyone who

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wants to understand what is actually happening to people in our society

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to watch it, but again, this fell on deaf ears and was coldly dismissed

:15:23.:15:28.

as purely fiction. If I had the power to do so, I would scrap the

:15:29.:15:32.

sanctions regime immediately, and that is why I am proud, and I think

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we should all be proud, that the SNP government in Scotland have chosen

:15:38.:15:39.

to take a different approach when it comes to social security. We know

:15:40.:15:44.

that benefit sanctions actually cause the vulnerable to fall into

:15:45.:15:48.

hardship. We know it makes it harder for people to find work, and we know

:15:49.:15:54.

that sanctions cost ministers more than they save, and the government

:15:55.:15:58.

must know that this contradicts their arguments. I have told them

:15:59.:16:03.

often enough! So that begs the question, what is the real reason

:16:04.:16:09.

they like to impose sanctions? Once you remove common-sense, the only

:16:10.:16:14.

argument left is ideology. The Conservative Party have always

:16:15.:16:16.

sought to cause division between groups of society in order to

:16:17.:16:21.

prevent that very same society from uniting and holding those in

:16:22.:16:25.

positions of power to account, so someone can't make a Jobcentre

:16:26.:16:29.

meeting in order to receive the incredibly small and only income

:16:30.:16:33.

that they can get. Surely it is our duty to understand why, not simply

:16:34.:16:37.

to take the life in a way? Fundamentally, any government should

:16:38.:16:42.

not be making its own citizens destitute, and that is exactly what

:16:43.:16:44.

this Tory government is doing. APPLAUSE

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So let me be clear, it is not fiction, it is not exaggerated and

:16:52.:16:57.

it is a reality for far too many people. If Westminster refuses to

:16:58.:17:02.

use the powers it has to end this cruelty, I have an idea, let's bring

:17:03.:17:06.

those very powers back up the road and let the Scottish Government do

:17:07.:17:10.

the job right. Thank you. APPLAUSE

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Let's go back to the conference where Brian has some

:17:13.:17:16.

Yes, indeed. Well this business of a referendum, it is causing a lot of

:17:17.:17:27.

interest here. It is about two Parliament, the Scottish Parliament

:17:28.:17:30.

and the Westminster Parliament.. Am delighted to say I am joined by an

:17:31.:17:36.

MP and MSP: Thank you for joining us. Looking forward to the First

:17:37.:17:43.

Minister's, I am in my Westminster mode, First Minister speeches. What

:17:44.:17:46.

are you anticipating from her? I am looking for her to talk about the

:17:47.:17:49.

choice that Scotland is facing. I imagine she will talk about the

:17:50.:17:53.

independence referendum and the section 30 that will be going

:17:54.:17:57.

through the Scottish Parliament she will talk about domestic policy and

:17:58.:18:01.

things happening in Holyrood. She wants to use the phrase forget about

:18:02.:18:05.

the day job, there will be a bit on that as well. On this business of

:18:06.:18:13.

the referendum. We expect she will try and make a contrast between what

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Britain would be under Conservative rule and what Scotland could be

:18:17.:18:21.

under what she will say will be progressive governance, is that a

:18:22.:18:26.

genuine choice? Is it it not between the European Union and the UK? This

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is an important choice the people of Scotland have. We didn't want to be

:18:31.:18:33.

in this position as a country. Scotland voted to remain in the

:18:34.:18:37.

European Union, but we are where we are, and we have now the choice

:18:38.:18:43.

between right-wing Tory hard Brexit, leaving the single market, or making

:18:44.:18:46.

our own decisions is about our own future, that is what the First

:18:47.:18:49.

Minister will be talking about today, what we will be voting on in

:18:50.:18:52.

the Scottish Parliament next week, and that is a significant choice for

:18:53.:18:55.

the Parliament to make next week, then for the country. Is that not a

:18:56.:19:01.

bogus choice in even if you characterise the Conservative

:19:02.:19:04.

Government in the way you do, it is the current Government, not

:19:05.:19:06.

necessarily the Government for all time of the United Kingdom. It could

:19:07.:19:10.

be argued you would lose the United Kingdom links in protest as a

:19:11.:19:15.

contemporaneous government? It is not a bogus choice. I see

:19:16.:19:20.

constituents that are suffering from Tory austerity, the level of people

:19:21.:19:23.

that are going to good banks for example. That is not a bogus choice

:19:24.:19:29.

they face, on a daily basis. It is very important choice about our

:19:30.:19:33.

future and it is about the type of country that we want. Do you want a

:19:34.:19:37.

right-wing Tory, and yes, they will be in power for some time, you know,

:19:38.:19:40.

you have senior members in the Labour Party that know that under

:19:41.:19:44.

Jeremy Corbyn there is no opportunity for Labour to be

:19:45.:19:47.

elected, until 2030, so when we look at that and we are looking at not

:19:48.:19:51.

just this Tory Government but more Tory Governments to come, with no

:19:52.:19:56.

change to Tory austerity, that is why Scotland needs to choose its own

:19:57.:20:01.

destiny. Say Scotland is offered that choice, you are saying go down

:20:02.:20:05.

the road of independence, particularly in protest as the

:20:06.:20:08.

policy of the incumbent Government. It could be arguing that as I put to

:20:09.:20:13.

Shirley Anne you lose the connections with the United Kingdom

:20:14.:20:15.

which your importants would argue are vital The thing is the problem

:20:16.:20:19.

we have got. One of the biggest problems is this Tory government is

:20:20.:20:24.

the one that, it is taking decisions that will shape the future of the

:20:25.:20:27.

whole of the United Kingdom, for ever more, so the decisions they

:20:28.:20:31.

make today cannot be rolled back on, if you think about things like

:20:32.:20:36.

single market membership, freedom of movement of people, those will set

:20:37.:20:39.

the future of the whole of the UK, now we want Scotland to have a

:20:40.:20:42.

choice to not go down that route, and that is why we are looking at

:20:43.:20:45.

the independence referendum. It could be said you had a referendum

:20:46.:20:50.

in 2014 that determined Scotland's attitude to independence. This is

:20:51.:20:54.

only three years on from that point. You talked about a generational

:20:55.:20:58.

vote. I don't think anyone thinks that the goalposts haven't shifted

:20:59.:21:02.

significantly. We weren't looking at the EU referendum coming up. We were

:21:03.:21:07.

told if we wanted to stay we would vote to stay in the United Kingdom.

:21:08.:21:11.

Things have change since then, we need to give Scottish people a

:21:12.:21:15.

chance for future. The Prime Minister is saying no, she is saying

:21:16.:21:20.

no within 2 timescale, if she continues to say no, would you think

:21:21.:21:31.

it is feasible to hold if you like an unauthorised unsanctioned

:21:32.:21:34.

non-cons is you'll referendum? The The him Prime Minister has made one

:21:35.:21:38.

screeching you feel turn round the National Insurance and left a gaping

:21:39.:21:43.

hole in the budget doing that. That is a policy matter in the budget,

:21:44.:21:47.

admittedly a very large one, but it is a policy matter in the budget.

:21:48.:21:50.

This would be about the nature of the governance of the United

:21:51.:21:52.

Kingdom, and she says she ain't going to shift on that in terms of

:21:53.:21:55.

the timetable. This is about democracy and whether you are going

:21:56.:21:59.

to allow the will of the Scottish Parliament and people to decide our

:22:00.:22:06.

own future. Would you contemplate a sort of unauthorised referendum on

:22:07.:22:09.

none consensual referendum? We have the vote in the Scottish Parliament

:22:10.:22:14.

coming up on Wednesday, I think it would be exceptionally ill-judged of

:22:15.:22:16.

the Prime Minister to ignore the will of the Scottish Parliament, if

:22:17.:22:21.

we win that majority which I expect we will. The Prime Minister needs to

:22:22.:22:25.

look seriously then at her relationship. She talked about a

:22:26.:22:30.

partnership of equals, if she remotely believes any of that

:22:31.:22:33.

rhetoric, which herself and David Cameron came out with, the time is

:22:34.:22:36.

to listen to the Scottish Parliament, listen to the Scottish

:22:37.:22:39.

people, and let Scotland decides its future. The Prime Minister might say

:22:40.:22:43.

that matters of the constitution, matters affecting a referendum are

:22:44.:22:46.

deliberately reserved to Westminster, in the Scotland act

:22:47.:22:51.

1998, and that she has the mandate at Westminster. The Prime Minister

:22:52.:22:55.

was elected, in fact the Prime Minister has not been elected Prime

:22:56.:22:57.

Minister, the Prime Minister was elected with a smaller share of the

:22:58.:23:00.

constituency vote than the First Minister was elected with. This is

:23:01.:23:04.

going to go through the Scottish Parliament we imagine on Wednesday

:23:05.:23:07.

and it will go through the Scottish Parliament with a majority now, the

:23:08.:23:10.

Prime Minister would be very unwise to go against the will of the

:23:11.:23:13.

Scottish people in this regard. Would it be going against the will

:23:14.:23:16.

of the Scottish people? Are they yearn foger a referendum? If you

:23:17.:23:21.

look round here. Here they are! If you speak to people here. I will

:23:22.:23:25.

give you that one, here they would be in favour of it. People in the

:23:26.:23:29.

street are saying I didn't want a hard Brexit, I want tot have a

:23:30.:23:34.

choice. OK, thanks both. Very you very much indeed.

:23:35.:23:36.

Education is their number one priority ,

:23:37.:23:40.

John Swinney, the Education Secretary, made a surprisingly

:23:41.:23:44.

He warned the Prime Minister must not trample on Scottish

:23:45.:23:48.

sovereignty, but first he focussed on how he was improving Scotland's

:23:49.:23:50.

For all the progress we have made, we know there is still more we have

:23:51.:24:03.

to do. That sometimes requires making tough choices and not shying

:24:04.:24:07.

away from difficult choice, the easy choice to make as the First Minister

:24:08.:24:11.

said on Monday would be to wait to see how things pan out. That applies

:24:12.:24:16.

equally to education as it does to our constitutional future. But I am

:24:17.:24:19.

not prepared to wait and see if the current way of doing things will be

:24:20.:24:22.

enough to deliver an education system that is world class, a system

:24:23.:24:27.

that can provide equity and excellence for all of our children.

:24:28.:24:31.

To achieve our. A Biggses, means making change happen. That means

:24:32.:24:35.

creating a different way of delivering education, creating

:24:36.:24:39.

better structure that empower teacher, schools communities and

:24:40.:24:42.

families so I am choosing to change our approach to school education. It

:24:43.:24:47.

means listening to teachers and not being afraid to tackle workload to

:24:48.:24:49.

football team up to teach and our children freed up to learn. So I

:24:50.:24:54.

choose... APPLAUSE

:24:55.:25:01.

So I choose to declutter the curriculum and reduce the amount of

:25:02.:25:05.

assessment, it means targeting resources to where the need is

:25:06.:25:09.

greatest, so we have chosen to make more funding available to Local

:25:10.:25:13.

Authorities and schools with the greatest level of deprivation, with

:25:14.:25:16.

more money directly into the hands of head teachers who are best

:25:17.:25:20.

placed, best placed to know what their school and children need to

:25:21.:25:25.

succeed. It means apse plying a consistent approach to improvement

:25:26.:25:27.

and assessment, so we can see where we might need to do more or to do

:25:28.:25:32.

things differently. And it means ensuring that we have the right

:25:33.:25:36.

people with the right skills in our classrooms and schools, so we will

:25:37.:25:40.

continue to expect Local Authorities, to maintain teacher

:25:41.:25:44.

number, and pupil-teacher ratio, all of these measures are required, to

:25:45.:25:50.

ensure we can deliver our ambition of a world class education system in

:25:51.:25:53.

Scotland. APPLAUSE

:25:54.:26:04.

Friends, democratic sovereignty is not a gift to be given or with held

:26:05.:26:08.

at the whim of a Tory Prime Minister. Sovereignty does not

:26:09.:26:13.

belong to Theresa May. It rests First Ladily with the people of

:26:14.:26:17.

Scotland. APPLAUSE

:26:18.:26:29.

And it is people's right and their right alone to exercise it as they

:26:30.:26:33.

choose, through the Government they elect, and the Parliament it serves.

:26:34.:26:40.

The sights of a Tory Prime Minister trampling over the rights of the

:26:41.:26:43.

Scottish people, the right to choose the form of Government they wish to

:26:44.:26:47.

have, is an outrage to every Democrat, yes or no in the land, it

:26:48.:26:52.

will not, it cannot stand as an approach.

:26:53.:26:54.

APPLAUSE .

:26:55.:27:04.

Friends, I share the outrage that every Democrat feels that the action

:27:05.:27:09.

of the Westminster Tory Government, but I say to you, this is a time for

:27:10.:27:15.

cool heads. Cool, clear heads, that must now stand up for Scotland's

:27:16.:27:19.

sovereignty. That is what the choice ahead of us amounts to. The chance

:27:20.:27:23.

to choose our future, to determine what kind of future we want for our

:27:24.:27:27.

children, and young people, and the kind of country we want to hand on,

:27:28.:27:33.

to future generations. That is the straightforward choice, we will be

:27:34.:27:37.

asking Scotland to make. So let us work to persuade our fellow Scots,

:27:38.:27:41.

to choose independence, and achieve the future that all of us want to

:27:42.:27:46.

achieve for our children. Thank you very much.

:27:47.:27:51.

Let's join Brian Taylor, who's with Fiona Hyslop -

:27:52.:28:03.

You have been in discussion with other European nations and other

:28:04.:28:09.

European Governments, do you accept that at the point of there being the

:28:10.:28:12.

referendum under the timetable set out by the First Minister, do you

:28:13.:28:16.

accept that Scotland would be either part of the UK on her way out of the

:28:17.:28:21.

European Union, at that point, out? At the point we are now, there is no

:28:22.:28:25.

indication or wise that the UK is leaving and there are, if we don't

:28:26.:28:29.

do anything, Scotland will be out. So there is a period of time we are

:28:30.:28:34.

not having the referendum now, the referendum is obviously in 18

:28:35.:28:38.

months' time to two years, by which time there will be will be more

:28:39.:28:40.

certainty of other thing, what the shape of the negotiation from the UK

:28:41.:28:45.

is in terms of Brexit but what any transition might be, either for the

:28:46.:28:49.

UK on its own or perhaps for an independent Scotland. You accept

:28:50.:28:52.

that Scotland would be out and going back in, you wouldn't have the idea

:28:53.:28:58.

you had previously of automatic membership being assumed by an

:28:59.:29:00.

independent Scottish state? In terms of what we will be, we will have to

:29:01.:29:06.

have negotiation with the member states and the European Commission,

:29:07.:29:09.

we don't know what situation we might be in in two years' time, that

:29:10.:29:13.

is what the space and time, the dialogue I have been having since

:29:14.:29:16.

June with other European countries was won, to set out what we were

:29:17.:29:22.

trying to do as part of the United Kingdom, they were sympathetic,

:29:23.:29:27.

understand our dilemma, recognised if the UK were to support Scotland

:29:28.:29:31.

we were in a good place, but with the intransigence of the UK

:29:32.:29:34.

Government, we found ourself new a different position. You accept

:29:35.:29:38.

Scotland would be out and you hope back in? You intend back in? Out

:29:39.:29:43.

first? The mechanics of where we will be will come clear once we know

:29:44.:29:47.

what the UK's negotiating position is in terms of Brexit, but as of

:29:48.:29:51.

now, we can anticipate not only will the UK be out of the EU, so would

:29:52.:29:55.

Scotland, so therefore we have to allow ourselves some opportunity to

:29:56.:29:58.

take a different path, and the different path is what we will set

:29:59.:30:02.

out in advance of the referendum. Do you think there would be European

:30:03.:30:09.

widespread European welcome for that or would some be concerned about a

:30:10.:30:14.

member state fragmenting perhaps Spain being an example? We have

:30:15.:30:17.

spoken to a number of country, I spoke to the Spanish over a number

:30:18.:30:21.

of months in different circumstances, with the Spanish

:30:22.:30:24.

ambassador, the previous one, the current one, and also, in terms of

:30:25.:30:28.

other Governments as well. They understand this is a unique

:30:29.:30:31.

situation, there has never been a situation where anybody has left

:30:32.:30:36.

before, so anything should be seen within the context of the UK

:30:37.:30:40.

leaving, that is quite, complex, yes, it is difficult but it is for

:30:41.:30:45.

the UK as a whole, so therefore they understand we are trying to forge a

:30:46.:30:48.

way that is sensible, that is pragmatic, that is pro European in

:30:49.:30:54.

terms of support. But you accept would have to negotiate terms,

:30:55.:30:56.

discuss and negotiate terms with the other member states We have said

:30:57.:31:01.

that previously. What would be the currency Scotland would adopt? We

:31:02.:31:04.

don't know the situation we would be in terms of the Ukraine, in terms of

:31:05.:31:08.

Brexit, the timescale and we will make sure all the information that

:31:09.:31:11.

is required, both for the negotiations and for the economic

:31:12.:31:14.

situation will be set out, in advance for the referendum, most

:31:15.:31:17.

important thing now is Scotland's democracy and our rights to hold

:31:18.:31:21.

that referendum is respected politically and morally by the UK

:31:22.:31:25.

Government and that is why the medium situation has to be about the

:31:26.:31:30.

rights of the Scottish Parliament, to exercise its democratic, it is

:31:31.:31:33.

elected democratic power this week as we go forward to get the powers

:31:34.:31:38.

to allow us to embark what is an 18-two-year job. I will ask this, is

:31:39.:31:45.

it feasible to hold a referendum without a section 30 transfer of

:31:46.:31:50.

powers, unauthorised referendum? It is essential that Theresa May

:31:51.:31:53.

respects the democracy of the Scottish Parliament it would be

:31:54.:31:57.

outrage if the UK Government were not to agree what is an elected

:31:58.:32:01.

position in terms of mandate, it is in our manifesto we were elected on

:32:02.:32:05.

that, it is not about one party or one Government, the Scottish

:32:06.:32:09.

Parliament has to be respected, and Theresa May will be in very

:32:10.:32:12.

dangerous grounds if she does not respect the Scottish Parliament.

:32:13.:32:16.

Thank you very much for joining us here.

:32:17.:32:19.

Delegates passed a resolution yesterday demanding that the UK

:32:20.:32:22.

Government does more to help support the North Sea oil and gas industry.

:32:23.:32:26.

Gillian Martin, the MSP for Aberdeenshire East, said

:32:27.:32:28.

"the Treasury simply has not done enough".

:32:29.:32:39.

What was the industry promised last week? They promised a panel of

:32:40.:32:46.

experts, a discussion paper, a talking shop, a kick into the long

:32:47.:32:52.

grass. As the Deputy First Minister pointed out last week, at FAQs, the

:32:53.:32:58.

Scottish oil and gas has been a massive bonus to the UK. Over the

:32:59.:33:06.

life of North Sea oil and gas, over ?330 billion have been generated to

:33:07.:33:12.

the UK Treasury. Brought ashore in people who are now being betrayed.

:33:13.:33:20.

APPLAUSE It is time to get a return on that

:33:21.:33:25.

bonus. Where are the broad shoulders of the UK? Tory minister, energy

:33:26.:33:32.

Minister Greg Clarke is on record as saying, the oil and gas industry is,

:33:33.:33:37.

quote, a huge priority for the UK. Well, Mr Clark and Mr Hammond, prove

:33:38.:33:41.

it. APPLAUSE

:33:42.:33:51.

When is that action going to happen? Today, tomorrow or too late to make

:33:52.:33:58.

any impact? Or, to coin a phrase, is now not the right time? Support the

:33:59.:34:00.

revolution. CHEERING

:34:01.:34:11.

We welcome the fact that latterly there has been a discussion paper

:34:12.:34:17.

and a panel, but operators and supply chain companies have had a

:34:18.:34:22.

tough period. Today, there are still 125,000 jobs still involved in the

:34:23.:34:27.

industry in Scotland. As a government, we are taking forward

:34:28.:34:29.

the energy jobs task force, which has set aside four job events, 3500

:34:30.:34:37.

people affected by redundancy have attended those. We have set up 64

:34:38.:34:42.

new businesses. Scottish enterprise engaged directly with 800 oil and

:34:43.:34:49.

gas companies, via 36 events, providing targeted resilient

:34:50.:34:54.

support. We have helped 1700 individuals through the transition

:34:55.:34:56.

training fund to get training into new jobs, within the industry or

:34:57.:35:02.

outside it. ?12.5 million has been provided for innovation and business

:35:03.:35:06.

resilience funding. 78 innovation projects worth ?16 million, with ?7

:35:07.:35:12.

million Scottish Government funding. I was born and brought up in the

:35:13.:35:15.

north-east and one of the things that became clear to me, living

:35:16.:35:20.

here, the powers to prioritise the industry should not be in the

:35:21.:35:22.

south-east of England. They should be here in Scotland. Because,

:35:23.:35:28.

conference, the situation at the moment is not only untenable, it is

:35:29.:35:33.

outrageous. Every week in Holyrood and Westminster, the Tory benches

:35:34.:35:36.

celebrate the challenges to our industry, which has so long made up

:35:37.:35:41.

for Westminster economic shock. One of our nation's prized industries

:35:42.:35:46.

has not been used to tackle social issues, it has not been used to

:35:47.:35:50.

create a fund for the future. It is being used by UK Government for one

:35:51.:35:54.

thing only, making political points, and that with this clueless -- that

:35:55.:36:00.

is ridiculous. That was some of the debate on oil. Now back to Brian in

:36:01.:36:05.

the conference centre. He has some more guests.

:36:06.:36:10.

I'm joined by three delegates from the party. Thank you, all. We have

:36:11.:36:18.

talked policy that conference. It is independence that is the subject the

:36:19.:36:24.

referendum. Ross Aitchison, why is it referendum required at this

:36:25.:36:29.

stage, and it is only a couple of years since the last one? It is

:36:30.:36:33.

clear that the circumstances have changed substantially since last

:36:34.:36:37.

June's EU referendum. The terms that Scotland voted on our fundamental

:36:38.:36:42.

different to the existing situation. You promised a referendum once in a

:36:43.:36:48.

generation, indeed, once in a lifetime. This is the generation of

:36:49.:36:52.

Brexit and the situation is fundamentally different to 2014. You

:36:53.:36:57.

believe that the nature of political discourse has changed a consequence

:36:58.:37:01.

of Brexit. Absolutely. Lots of things have changed since 2014, not

:37:02.:37:10.

least of which the vowels which were promised to us. Within 48 hours,

:37:11.:37:15.

they were Reinecke Don. But those would say that they were delivered

:37:16.:37:20.

in full. The Smith commission was watered down so much. People who

:37:21.:37:25.

were staunch No supporters came out in force, they were so disgusted

:37:26.:37:30.

with the situation. These people joined the SNP. That is where the

:37:31.:37:36.

surge came from, we went from 20,000 members to 120,000 members. You

:37:37.:37:40.

can't ignore that. The people who voted No voted to stay. I believe

:37:41.:37:46.

you joined the party on the day of the Brexit referendum. Tell me about

:37:47.:37:50.

that. Was on holiday in Jamaica and I arrived back on Friday morning to

:37:51.:37:55.

find I had arrived in Brexit Britain, with a planeload of shocked

:37:56.:37:59.

Jamaicans and visitors. That day, that was my last straw. That

:38:00.:38:04.

country, which sadly as you can see I am from, it is... You are from

:38:05.:38:11.

London. Yes, it's a different planet to the country here in Scotland. We

:38:12.:38:15.

need the right to choose a different destiny. Let them go off on their

:38:16.:38:19.

Brexit island, but we don't want to go there with them. You say the last

:38:20.:38:26.

straw. What prompted that change in your mind? The EU referendum

:38:27.:38:28.

essentially was a referendum based on the frankly racist debate of

:38:29.:38:35.

politics down there against migrants, generally, and

:38:36.:38:37.

Islamophobia. A terrible atmosphere. We don't have the same in Scotland.

:38:38.:38:41.

In Scotland, we talk about welcoming. Our leadership is all

:38:42.:38:47.

about including people from abroad, welcoming their contributions,

:38:48.:38:50.

wanting to recognise their equal citizenship. We had the exact

:38:51.:38:54.

opposite debate during our EU referendum, which is why 67% of

:38:55.:39:00.

people voted to remain. I can see you have been nodding. Absolutely.

:39:01.:39:05.

Scotland is an inclusive country. Is that universally true? I think it is

:39:06.:39:13.

to a large extent. Not absolutely 100%, but what country is? We will

:39:14.:39:17.

always have those who disagree. In terms of the EU workers, we have had

:39:18.:39:21.

that going on for a very long time. This is not something new. They

:39:22.:39:26.

contribute immensely to our economy. They pay their taxes and work so

:39:27.:39:31.

hard. I think they have a right to stay. Isn't it reasonable for the

:39:32.:39:35.

Prime Minister to say that that would be settled once the situation

:39:36.:39:43.

is settled with regard to Britons living in the European Union? I am

:39:44.:39:47.

not convinced by that. I don't think she will keep to it. You want a

:39:48.:39:53.

fully fledged referendum, with section 30 powers transferred to

:39:54.:39:57.

Holyrood, sanctioned and agreed, but is it feasible you could have one

:39:58.:40:02.

that isn't authorised? That is not the situation anybody wants to find

:40:03.:40:06.

themselves in. We went through the previous referendum, getting the

:40:07.:40:10.

Edinburgh agreement. There was mutual understanding as to the

:40:11.:40:13.

terms. I think that is the road we have to try to aim to travel down.

:40:14.:40:18.

The UK Government will talk to the Scottish parliament, clearly after

:40:19.:40:21.

the Scottish Parliament has at its vote this week. Could you do that? I

:40:22.:40:28.

think there has to be some sort of negotiations start. But if the Prime

:40:29.:40:33.

Minister won't talk, if she says she will get back later after Brexit? If

:40:34.:40:38.

she continues to ignore Scotland's voice, she does it at her parole.

:40:39.:40:44.

Every time she speaks, she is adding 5000 votes to the pro-independence

:40:45.:40:52.

camp. To see the evil in Parliament, where Scottish MPs, supposedly

:40:53.:40:55.

equal, can't speak and vote on English matters, but 150 Tory MPs

:40:56.:40:59.

will turn up to Scottish questions to make sure that Scottish MPs can't

:41:00.:41:04.

put real questions to David Mundell, that is the kind of equal

:41:05.:41:07.

partnership you are dealing with. It is democratic travesty. We need

:41:08.:41:12.

independence. You mentioned that if the PM says no, at her peril. What

:41:13.:41:18.

are the sanctions that can be applied? She retains the reserved

:41:19.:41:20.

power over the constitution, or Westminster does. I agree with some

:41:21.:41:26.

of the comments that have been made by the odd Unionist politician. One

:41:27.:41:31.

of them even said it would be impossible, with a democratic

:41:32.:41:34.

mandate from the Scottish on it, for the Westminster government to stand

:41:35.:41:40.

the way. Civitas the vote on Wednesday that matters. Absolutely,

:41:41.:41:44.

and I can't see us not winning that. Best so it is the vote. What if the

:41:45.:41:50.

Prime Minister says no? She is effectively shutting the door to any

:41:51.:41:55.

kind of democratic discussion. We will have to forge ahead, whether

:41:56.:41:59.

she likes it or not. It's inconceivable that the Prime

:42:00.:42:03.

Minister would ignore the vote of the Scottish Parliament, on an issue

:42:04.:42:09.

that is so fundamental. She could say it is a reserved matter. She

:42:10.:42:14.

could, but the Scottish Parliament will vote this week and she will

:42:15.:42:17.

have to come round the table and negotiate. That is the only way

:42:18.:42:21.

forward for the Prime Minister or she heads towards another referendum

:42:22.:42:24.

that she is going to lose. The only way she can win another Scottish

:42:25.:42:28.

referendum is by dealing with the Scottish Government on the matter.

:42:29.:42:30.

Thank you, all three of you. Before the keynote address

:42:31.:42:32.

from the SNP leader, I'm joined once again by Professor

:42:33.:42:34.

Curtice. John, what do the polls suggest

:42:35.:42:47.

about public opinion when it comes to any appetite for a fresh

:42:48.:42:53.

referendum? They certainly indicate there isn't wild enthusiasm. Those

:42:54.:42:56.

polls that have asked people whether or not they think they should be a

:42:57.:43:00.

referendum in the next couple of years or so, before the Brexit

:43:01.:43:04.

negotiations are over, they have ranged between about 46% and 54%

:43:05.:43:12.

saying no, and only about 35% to 41% saying that there should be. So I

:43:13.:43:16.

think that, .1, one of the things that has been going on in this week

:43:17.:43:21.

in truth is Nicola Sturgeon trying to persuade particularly Yes

:43:22.:43:25.

supporters to going slightly earlier than what people thought was a good

:43:26.:43:32.

idea. Equally, the claim on the Unionist side that Scotland is,

:43:33.:43:35.

quote, overwhelmingly, unquote, opposed to a referendum is clearly

:43:36.:43:41.

too strong. Certainly what is also true, as we saw in another pole,

:43:42.:43:46.

when people are asked, should it be during Brexit, long after Brexit or

:43:47.:43:51.

should never happen? Then you discover that the country splits

:43:52.:43:56.

pretty much 50-50. In a sense, a post Brexit but still relatively

:43:57.:44:00.

early referendum is probably where the modal Scottish voter is, and

:44:01.:44:03.

therefore might be the ground for compromise. As it were, certainly

:44:04.:44:08.

Nicola Sturgeon... But virtually all those polling figures were done

:44:09.:44:12.

before she announced on Monday, and I think we are now looking to see

:44:13.:44:17.

whether or not, in the wake of the announcement, she begins to turn

:44:18.:44:21.

party opinion round. That is the crucial point, but each side is

:44:22.:44:24.

trying to swing public opinion. As Graham Campbell was saying, each

:44:25.:44:28.

time the Prime Minister speaks, he was saying that she adds 5000 votes

:44:29.:44:34.

to the Yes side. Each side will have to be careful. I hate to disappoint

:44:35.:44:38.

people but, in the backdrop to all this excitement is an

:44:39.:44:42.

extraordinarily stable position in opinion polls, when it comes to the

:44:43.:44:46.

central issue as to which way people would vote. If you take all of the

:44:47.:44:54.

polls published this year, 53% for No, 47% for Yes, so No are ahead but

:44:55.:44:58.

not by a long way. If you look at the dozen or so polls conducted

:44:59.:45:02.

before June the 21st, the first of last year, it was 53 for No and 47

:45:03.:45:11.

or Yes. Brexit might have changed circumstances but so far it has

:45:12.:45:14.

changed... -- it has failed to change minds. Some people have gone

:45:15.:45:23.

from No to Yes, some the other way, but the problem for the SNP is it

:45:24.:45:27.

looks like there are just not enough people in Scotland who are

:45:28.:45:29.

sufficiently upset about Scotland, along with the UK leaving the

:45:30.:45:33.

European Union, that this will prove fruitful ground upon which to

:45:34.:45:37.

eventually fight the referendum campaign, and I think that is why in

:45:38.:45:41.

the course of the last few days, you have heard all of this discussion

:45:42.:45:44.

about whether Scotland wants to remain under a Tory government

:45:45.:45:48.

trying to impose austerity on Scotland. The SNP are trying to

:45:49.:45:53.

widen the argument beyond simply a question on Brexit. The trouble is,

:45:54.:45:57.

once you start doing that, inevitably questions turn up, as we

:45:58.:46:02.

had with Fiona Hyslop, which currency might an independent

:46:03.:46:05.

Scotland use, for example? There is that crucial growth commission,

:46:06.:46:12.

under the former SNP, and it has still not been published, apparently

:46:13.:46:18.

not even be made into a report, and I think the truth is, if the SNP are

:46:19.:46:22.

wanting to widen the debate, they need to make sure they are prepared

:46:23.:46:25.

for that debate. In effect, on Monday, whenever this referendum is

:46:26.:46:30.

mentioned, Nicola Sturgeon started the referendum campaign and she

:46:31.:46:34.

needs to make sure her side as the argument is not just on Brexit but

:46:35.:46:39.

on the much wider terrain of the independence debate. Just looking at

:46:40.:46:43.

some of other options, before we hear from the SNP leader, there has

:46:44.:46:49.

been talk about one of the delegates saying that Mrs May's coming round

:46:50.:46:56.

the table for some more talks... Just on holding a wildcat

:46:57.:46:58.

referendum, all of the leading lights were putting that at arms

:46:59.:47:02.

length. Yes, but this is an old debate. Those who have been

:47:03.:47:07.

following this in detail for far too long have remembered what papers

:47:08.:47:12.

produced by the first SNP minority administration which said, actually,

:47:13.:47:15.

we think we can hold a legal referendum on independence but we

:47:16.:47:20.

have to be careful how to work it. Paraphrasing, the question that they

:47:21.:47:23.

thought of was, the Scottish Government enter into negotiations

:47:24.:47:28.

with the UK Government with a view to achieving Scottish independence?

:47:29.:47:32.

Their argument was that, because the civil convention means that changing

:47:33.:47:36.

the powers of the Scottish Parliament can only be done with the

:47:37.:47:40.

consent of the parliament, if we are talking about negotiations to change

:47:41.:47:42.

the path of the parliament, that would be legal.

:47:43.:47:45.

Let's cross live to the hall at the Aberdeen Exhibition

:47:46.:47:47.

and Conference Centre, where the SNP leader

:47:48.:47:49.

There is Angus Robertson, the party deputy leader introducing the First

:47:50.:47:58.

Minister, mounting the steps at the Conference centre, to a standing

:47:59.:48:02.

ovation. APPLAUSE

:48:03.:48:06.

Let us hear from the First Minister and SNP leader now, as she gives her

:48:07.:48:10.

key note Spring Conference address to the Conference, in Aberdeen.

:48:11.:48:25.

Conference, I am aware this is not the only important event happening

:48:26.:48:56.

in Scotland today. And no, I'm not talking about Gordon Brown

:48:57.:49:08.

delivering the same speech again. I am, of course, referring to our

:49:09.:49:12.

magnificent rugby team. Let's congratulate them on an outstanding

:49:13.:49:20.

Six Nations performance. APPLAUSE

:49:21.:49:28.

Friends, it is great to be here, in the granite city. To look out at a

:49:29.:49:35.

conference hall packed with so many people, from all walks of life, and

:49:36.:49:41.

from every corner of our country. You reflect the strength and depth

:49:42.:49:47.

of the SNP. You are a reminder that other parties might appeal to one

:49:48.:49:52.

section of our community, or one part of our country, not the SNP. We

:49:53.:49:59.

are a national party. A national party with a truly international

:50:00.:50:01.

list outlook. APPLAUSE

:50:02.:50:16.

Our priority now, and for the generations who come after us, is to

:50:17.:50:23.

build a better Scotland, for everyone who lives here. No matter

:50:24.:50:29.

where you come from. Often... APPLAUSE

:50:30.:50:36.

Often, in these times, I am reminded of our dear friend, the late Bashir,

:50:37.:50:46.

Ahmed: Bashir came to work as a bus driver from Pakistan in 1941. 46

:50:47.:50:51.

years later he became Scotland's first Asian member of our national

:50:52.:51:01.

Parliament. The very fist time he addressed an

:51:02.:51:07.

SNP conference Barbie articulated the simple message... It is not

:51:08.:51:11.

where we come from that is important he said, it is where we are going

:51:12.:51:18.

together. APPLAUSE

:51:19.:51:26.

And today, with the forces of intolerance and xenophobia seemingly

:51:27.:51:31.

on the rise, Bashir's words have never seemed more appropriate. Let

:51:32.:51:36.

us rededicate ourselves today to the spirit of that message. Inclusion,

:51:37.:51:42.

tolerance, diversity. Let's make these the foundation stones of the

:51:43.:51:46.

better Scotland we are seeking to build.

:51:47.:51:58.

APPLAUSE Frends, it is great to see so many

:51:59.:52:05.

of you here today. But I hope you will forgive me, because my speech

:52:06.:52:09.

this afternoon is not really aimed at you.

:52:10.:52:10.

LAUGHTER . Of course, of course I could be

:52:11.:52:21.

going out on a limb here. But I am assuming I already have your

:52:22.:52:23.

support. APPLAUSE

:52:24.:52:38.

I am assuming that you need no persuading that Scotland should not

:52:39.:52:45.

be dragged out of Europe by a Tory Government intent on a disastrous

:52:46.:52:49.

hard Brexit. APPLAUSE

:52:50.:53:00.

And I am guessing, that you are already convinced that Scotland has

:53:01.:53:07.

what it takes to join the family of independent nations.

:53:08.:53:07.

APPLAUSE Well, that's a relief! Relief!

:53:08.:53:26.

Friends, our job is not to talk to each other. It is to reach out to

:53:27.:53:32.

those not persuaded, to put ourselves in their shoes. To

:53:33.:53:38.

understand the hopes, fears, and ambitions of all our fellow citizen,

:53:39.:53:44.

and to do what we can to establish common ground. Always remember

:53:45.:53:49.

Bashir's words. Carry them with you, in your heart. What matters is where

:53:50.:53:57.

we are going together. These words don't just apply to how we treat

:53:58.:54:01.

those who come from other countries. They must apply to how we treat each

:54:02.:54:08.

other, all of us who live here, and call Scotland home. We all want the

:54:09.:54:13.

best for our country. We just have different views on how to achieve

:54:14.:54:19.

it. As Scotland's Government we bear a special responsibility to offer a

:54:20.:54:24.

hand across these differences, to build consensus where we can. So let

:54:25.:54:31.

us resolve, to argue our case, with passion, and commitment, yes. But at

:54:32.:54:37.

all times, with courtesy, understanding, and respect.

:54:38.:54:40.

APPLAUSE In that, as in everything else, it

:54:41.:54:57.

is my job to lead you by example. That is why I speak today, not just

:54:58.:55:04.

as SNP leader, to our party conference, but as the First

:55:05.:55:09.

Minister to all of Scotland. I know that the plan I set out on Monday

:55:10.:55:17.

was music to the ears of SNP member, and independence supporters up and

:55:18.:55:22.

down the country. Let me set out again what that plan is. After the

:55:23.:55:28.

terms of Brexit are clear, but while there is still an opportunity to

:55:29.:55:33.

change course, the people of Scotland will have a choice. There

:55:34.:55:38.

will be an independence referendum. APPLAUSE

:55:39.:56:17.

For I will know that for every one of us who is full of excitement, and

:56:18.:56:25.

anticipation, there will be someone else feeling nervous and anxious,

:56:26.:56:31.

perhaps even resentful. In the last few years it has been one big

:56:32.:56:36.

decision after another. You have been bombarded with statistics,

:56:37.:56:41.

claim, and counter claims. You might have had heated discussion with

:56:42.:56:46.

friends and family. Even though you may feel like we do, that 2014 was a

:56:47.:56:53.

positive and vibrant exercise of democracy, you might not relish

:56:54.:56:58.

going through it all over again. I understand that. So I want you to

:56:59.:57:04.

know they did not reach the decision lightly. Indeed, for months I have

:57:05.:57:11.

strived to find compromise and agreement, with the Prime Minister.

:57:12.:57:17.

Despite our overwhelming vote for remain, the Scottish Government

:57:18.:57:19.

accepted that Scotland within the UK would leave the EU. But that we

:57:20.:57:24.

should seek to retain our place in the single market. We proposed

:57:25.:57:29.

substantial new powers for the Scottish Parliament, short of

:57:30.:57:33.

independence, that would help protect Scotland's interests in a

:57:34.:57:39.

post-Brexit UK. But instead of meeting us half way, or frankly any

:57:40.:57:46.

of the way, Westminster chose to dig its heels in. Our efforts at

:57:47.:57:50.

compromise with the Prime Minister met with a brick wall of

:57:51.:57:55.

intransigence, and do you know, that is a concern that should resonate

:57:56.:58:01.

far beyond Scotland. The Prime Minister's attitude should worry all

:58:02.:58:05.

of us, hoping that negotiations with Europe will not be a disaster.

:58:06.:58:12.

Because, and let me put this bluntly, if she shows the same

:58:13.:58:16.

co-den seven shall be and inflexibility. The same tin ear to

:58:17.:58:21.

other EU countries as she has to Scotland, then the Brexit process

:58:22.:58:25.

will hit the rocks. APPLAUSE

:58:26.:58:33.

-- conzenion. -- condescension.

:58:34.:58:37.

Of course, the outcome. That hard line Brexiteers are agitating for.

:58:38.:58:46.

But it would be in no-one's interests, so as Article 50 is about

:58:47.:58:50.

to be triggered, let me say this to the Prime Minister. Stop putting the

:58:51.:58:55.

interests of the right-wing of your party ahead of the interests of the

:58:56.:58:59.

people of our country. APPLAUSE

:59:00.:59:17.

For me though, the Prime Minister's refusal to bundle an inch meant that

:59:18.:59:25.

I had to make a decision. I could have taken the easy option. I could

:59:26.:59:29.

let Scotland drift through the next two years, hoping for the best but

:59:30.:59:34.

knowing that the worst is far more likely. Waiting For me though, the

:59:35.:59:37.

Prime Minister's refusal to bundle an inch meant that I had to make a

:59:38.:59:40.

decision. I could have taken the easy option. I could let Scotland

:59:41.:59:43.

drift through the next two years, hoping for the best but knowing that

:59:44.:59:45.

the worst is far more likely. Waiting for the chance to say "I

:59:46.:59:48.

told you so." Knowing that by then, it might be too late to avoid the

:59:49.:59:51.

damage of a hard Brexit. Or, I could make a plan now, to put

:59:52.:59:54.

the Scottish people in charge of our own future. I choose to put the

:59:55.:00:00.

APPLAUSE APPLAUSE

:00:01.:00:14.

The fact is, our country stands at a crossroads. The future of the UK

:00:15.:00:21.

looks very different today than it did two years ago. We know change is

:00:22.:00:28.

coming. The only question is, what kind of change? And on that, we are

:00:29.:00:35.

not powerless. We can still decide which path we take. Whatever our

:00:36.:00:40.

different opinions on independence, we can all unite around this simple

:00:41.:00:47.

principle. Scotland's future must be Scotland's choice.

:00:48.:00:49.

APPLAUSE Which brings me to the Prime

:00:50.:01:09.

Minister's statement on Thursday. To stand in the way of a referendum

:01:10.:01:14.

would deny us that choice. It would mean that the path of our country

:01:15.:01:19.

was determined not by us for us. Decided by an increasingly

:01:20.:01:23.

right-wing, exit obsessed Tory government, a government that some

:01:24.:01:30.

predict will be in power now until 2030 and beyond. -- Brexit obsessed.

:01:31.:01:36.

Thanks in no small part to the embarrassing shambles of an

:01:37.:01:38.

opposition that Labour has become. A Tory government dominated by the

:01:39.:02:00.

likes of Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, eluding themselves about rebuilding

:02:01.:02:05.

the Empire and refloating the royal yacht Britannia. It seems they want

:02:06.:02:13.

to go back in time. But it's not just nostalgia for Empire that they

:02:14.:02:19.

are keen on. They clearly long for the days before we had a Scottish

:02:20.:02:24.

parliament. The days when Tory governments could do anything they

:02:25.:02:28.

wanted to Scotland, no matter how often they were rejected by the

:02:29.:02:31.

voters, the days when they could impose the poll-tax, destroyed

:02:32.:02:37.

Scottish industry and deny all demands for constitutional change.

:02:38.:02:41.

The Prime Minister should understand this point and understand it well.

:02:42.:02:48.

Those days are gone and they are not coming back.

:02:49.:02:48.

CHEERING Next week, in line with the mandate

:02:49.:03:25.

secured at last May's election, we will ask the Scottish Parliament to

:03:26.:03:30.

agree that the Scottish people should have the right to choose our

:03:31.:03:34.

own future. We will ask parliament to agree that this choice should be

:03:35.:03:39.

exercised at a time when we know the terms Brexit but before it is too

:03:40.:03:44.

late to take a different path. And we will ask parliament's permission

:03:45.:03:50.

to seek the legal authority that will allow the people of Scotland to

:03:51.:03:55.

have that choice. If a majority in the Scottish Parliament endorses

:03:56.:04:00.

that position, the Prime Minister should be clear about this. At that

:04:01.:04:10.

point, a fair, legal and agreed referendum on a timescale that will

:04:11.:04:15.

allow Scotland and informed choice ceases to be just my proposal or

:04:16.:04:22.

that of the SNP. It becomes the will of the democratically elected

:04:23.:04:24.

parliament of Scotland. CHEERING

:04:25.:04:43.

To stand in defiance of that would be for the Prime Minister to shatter

:04:44.:04:51.

beyond repair any notion of the UK as a respectful partnership of

:04:52.:04:55.

equals. She has time to think again, and I hope she does. If her concern

:04:56.:05:03.

is timing, then within reason I am happy to have that discussion, but

:05:04.:05:06.

let the Prime Minister be in no doubt. The will of our Parliament

:05:07.:05:11.

must and will prevail. CHEERING

:05:12.:05:26.

Of course, the Tories' reluctance to allow Scotland a choice isn't really

:05:27.:05:36.

hard to fathom. They are now terrified of the verdict of the

:05:37.:05:40.

Scottish people. APPLAUSE

:05:41.:05:49.

They know as well as we do that what is at stake in the years ahead is

:05:50.:05:52.

not just our place in Europe, important although that is, what is

:05:53.:05:58.

at stake is the kind of country that we are going to be. With

:05:59.:06:03.

independence, the country we become is up to us, all of us who live

:06:04.:06:09.

here. We can choose to be a compassionate country, with a big

:06:10.:06:13.

heart and a helping hand for those in need. In open country that

:06:14.:06:19.

doesn't pull up the drawbridge and look inwards, but one that

:06:20.:06:22.

encourages the best and brightest from around Europe to make Scotland

:06:23.:06:26.

their home. And not just from the goodness of

:06:27.:06:42.

our hearts, but for reasons of hard-headed self-interest as well.

:06:43.:06:46.

Scotland needs people to want to work here, in our businesses, our

:06:47.:06:52.

universities and public services. Of course, people have concerns about

:06:53.:06:56.

immigration that needs to be addressed. I know that from my own

:06:57.:07:00.

constituency. But, as we decide the kind of country we want to be, we

:07:01.:07:04.

must be clear about the choice on offer. For the current UK

:07:05.:07:10.

Government, ending free movement comes before everything else,

:07:11.:07:13.

including the health of our economy. It is their number one priority.

:07:14.:07:19.

And, make no mistake, for Scotland, the result will be lower living

:07:20.:07:23.

standards and a hit our prosperity. So not just for the stake of our

:07:24.:07:26.

values, but for our economic future as well, it's time to take a

:07:27.:07:32.

different course. It's time to stand against the demonisation of

:07:33.:07:36.

migrants, and to stand up for those who choose to join us in building a

:07:37.:07:39.

better Scotland. Of course, we don't yet know exactly

:07:40.:07:59.

what the Tories want a post-Brexit UK to be like. But there are two

:08:00.:08:03.

recent developments that point the way. Last year, under pressure,

:08:04.:08:10.

David Cameron accepted what was called the Dubs amendment. It

:08:11.:08:17.

committed the UK to providing a safe haven for unaccompanied child

:08:18.:08:21.

refugees, some of the most helpless and vulnerable people on our planet.

:08:22.:08:24.

Last month, the UK Government called a halt to the Dubs scheme. We said

:08:25.:08:31.

that their new approach to refugees was absolutely right. -- they said.

:08:32.:08:39.

Well, I beg to differ. I think it is absolutely wrong. It is inhumane and

:08:40.:08:40.

it must be reversed. The second issue is the status of EU

:08:41.:09:03.

nationals. Men and women who have built lives, families and careers

:09:04.:09:10.

here, people who, overnight, in June last year, lost all certainty about

:09:11.:09:14.

their futures. You know, it is a depressing commentary on the state

:09:15.:09:17.

of British democracy that it took the House of Lords to do the right

:09:18.:09:23.

thing. But fair play to them, they did. They secured an amendment to

:09:24.:09:28.

the Brexit Bill guaranteeing the right of EU citizens to stay in the

:09:29.:09:33.

UK. It is even more depressing that the Westminster government then

:09:34.:09:39.

whipped its MPs in the House of Commons to overturn that guarantee.

:09:40.:09:43.

It is indefensible. You cannot lecture others about politics not

:09:44.:09:46.

being a game when you are using the lives of human beings as pawns.

:09:47.:09:48.

CHEERING Let me make this clear to everyone

:09:49.:10:24.

across our country today. In an independent Scotland, the SNP would

:10:25.:10:28.

guarantee unequivocally the right to stay here for all EU citizens who do

:10:29.:10:33.

us the honour of making our country their home.

:10:34.:10:48.

Compassionate, open-hearted and hard-headed. That's the kind of

:10:49.:10:53.

country I want Scotland to be. We must be resourceful and enterprising

:10:54.:11:00.

as well. No one owes Scotland a living, but we are more than capable

:11:01.:11:08.

of learning our own success. -- earning our own success. In the

:11:09.:11:18.

debate about our future, you, the people of Scotland, deserve to hear

:11:19.:11:24.

us speaking frankly about the challenges facing the Scottish

:11:25.:11:28.

economy, the challenges of independence and the challenges we

:11:29.:11:32.

will face under an austerity obsessed Tory government pursuing a

:11:33.:11:37.

hard Brexit. We should embrace that scrutiny. Opponents of Independence,

:11:38.:11:41.

as is their right, will make their case by highlighting what they see

:11:42.:11:47.

as the difficulties. It will be up to us to demonstrate how these

:11:48.:11:51.

difficulties can be overcome. But, as we do so, let's never, ever

:11:52.:11:57.

forget this. We have the strongest foundations on which to build.

:11:58.:12:01.

Advantages that few nations can match. Unrivalled energy resources,

:12:02.:12:06.

some of the world's best universities, strength in finance

:12:07.:12:11.

and business services, cutting edge expertise in life sciences and

:12:12.:12:14.

advanced manufacturing, a truly world-class food and industry, and

:12:15.:12:18.

the best tourist attractions anywhere in the world.

:12:19.:12:20.

CHEERING Well, almost the best. According to

:12:21.:12:38.

Rough Guide, we are the second best country in the world to visit this

:12:39.:12:42.

year, but we are aiming for the top spot.

:12:43.:12:48.

The point I'm making is this. As we debate our future, let's do so

:12:49.:12:59.

openly and honestly, but let no one, for or against independence, ever

:13:00.:13:03.

seek to rundown Scotland's strengths and our nation's great potential.

:13:04.:13:14.

What we must all do is strive to make our country even better. So,

:13:15.:13:25.

when we look at a fiscal deficit, created an Westminster's watch,

:13:26.:13:29.

let's decide that allowing Westminster to keep making the same

:13:30.:13:35.

mistakes over and over again is not the best way to deal with it.

:13:36.:13:46.

Instead, let us be a country that works out how to build, to grow and

:13:47.:13:53.

innovate our way to a stronger and more sustainable future, in a way

:13:54.:13:58.

that keeps faith with our own values of social justice, a country that

:13:59.:14:02.

makes its own choices, like choosing to invest in public services and a

:14:03.:14:07.

brighter future for our young people, not in a new generation of

:14:08.:14:08.

nuclear weapons. Our growth commission is currently

:14:09.:14:26.

working on a clear plan for Scotland's economic future. The

:14:27.:14:31.

commission will conclude its work over the next few months, and we

:14:32.:14:35.

will then present it outcome for public scrutiny and debate. It will

:14:36.:14:40.

address the challenges that we face in a hard-headed and realistic way,

:14:41.:14:44.

but it will also set out the massive opportunities that we have a

:14:45.:14:48.

country, if we choose to grasp them. You know, since the Brexit vote, I

:14:49.:14:54.

have had loads of messages from people in other parts of the UK

:14:55.:14:57.

asking if they can move to Scotland. LAUGHTER

:14:58.:15:05.

Now, I am sure many of them are joking, but if any of you are

:15:06.:15:14.

listening today, there is a serious point. The UK is about to turn its

:15:15.:15:18.

back on membership of the world's biggest single market. Imagine what

:15:19.:15:22.

will happen if Scotland chooses to stay. We will become a magnet for

:15:23.:15:28.

talent and investment from all across the UK.

:15:29.:15:39.

so let me issue this open invitation today. Scotland isn't full up. If

:15:40.:15:51.

you are as appalled as we are, at the path this Westminster Government

:15:52.:15:56.

is taking, come and join us. APPLAUSE

:15:57.:16:10.

Come... Come here, to live, work, invest, or study. Come to Scotland.

:16:11.:16:21.

And be part of building a modern progressive outward looking

:16:22.:16:23.

compassionate country. APPLAUSE

:16:24.:16:35.

It is down to us, to make the economic case for independence. To

:16:36.:16:43.

answer clearly the questions that people ask and we will, but we

:16:44.:16:47.

should also be clear about this. Those who a Gus for Scotland to stay

:16:48.:16:52.

in the UK, have big economic questions to answer too. We know

:16:53.:16:57.

that down that path lies austerity, cuts and the impact of leaving the

:16:58.:17:02.

single market. The Westminster Government is now even openly

:17:03.:17:06.

threatening a race to the bottom in tax, wages and working conditions.

:17:07.:17:10.

That is no basis for a modern economy. The kind of economy we are

:17:11.:17:15.

seeking to build is founded on a different vision, not a race to the

:17:16.:17:20.

bottom, but investment to lift people up. That...

:17:21.:17:30.

APPLAUSE That is our plan, not just with

:17:31.:17:35.

independence, but in the here and now. Since we took office,

:17:36.:17:39.

Scotland's productivity, so crucial to our economic prospects has grown

:17:40.:17:43.

by almost 10%. Productive in the rest of the UK has grown by just one

:17:44.:17:50.

tenth of one percent. So we have a good record but we have more to do.

:17:51.:17:54.

Key to our success will be digital skill, you know it is estimated if

:17:55.:17:59.

we make better use of cloud technology and big data the benefits

:18:00.:18:03.

to our economy could be over ?5 billion a year.

:18:04.:18:08.

Recent studies estimate we need more than 12,000 new workers with digital

:18:09.:18:13.

skills every year. And yet only a quarter of businesses report they

:18:14.:18:18.

are doing anything at all to develop the technology skills of that

:18:19.:18:21.

current workforces, we need to change that, Scotland can't afford

:18:22.:18:24.

to lose out on the digital revolution. So I can announce today

:18:25.:18:30.

we will establish a new three year ?36 million support fund, to

:18:31.:18:34.

immediate meet the up front cost of digital skills training. Helping

:18:35.:18:38.

businesses to invest in staff and build our country's future.

:18:39.:18:40.

APPLAUSE A strong economy is the basis for

:18:41.:18:57.

strong public services. In a few weeks' time people across the

:18:58.:19:01.

country will make the upon who should run local service, the Tories

:19:02.:19:06.

have based their entire campaign for the council elections on denying the

:19:07.:19:09.

people of Scotland the right the choose our own future. Our campaign

:19:10.:19:14.

is all about improving Scotland's communities.

:19:15.:19:22.

APPLAUSE And here we have a very clear choice

:19:23.:19:32.

too. Last month our budget invested in local service, the Tories voted

:19:33.:19:35.

against that budget, because it didn't deliver a tax cut for the

:19:36.:19:41.

highest earners. Same old Tories. Tax cuts for the richest, and just

:19:42.:19:53.

cuts for the rest. So my... My message today is clear. Don't let

:19:54.:19:58.

the Tories get their hands on your local service, on May 4th vote SNP.

:19:59.:20:01.

APPLAUSE APPLAUSE

:20:02.:20:13.

We work to build a better Scotland every single day, in May as well as

:20:14.:20:19.

contesting these council elections, we will mark ten years of our SNP

:20:20.:20:24.

Government. I am proud of the work we have done, but I know we have

:20:25.:20:29.

much, much more to do. Today, I want to thank everyone up and down the

:20:30.:20:34.

country who works in public service, I want to thank particularly those

:20:35.:20:38.

who work in our National Health Service.

:20:39.:20:48.

APPLAUSE And today, there are more people

:20:49.:20:52.

working in our health service than ever before. You know, the

:20:53.:20:57.

additional staff employed since we took office would fill this

:20:58.:21:01.

auditorium six times over. APPLAUSE

:21:02.:21:10.

And that is necessary, with populations getting older, pressures

:21:11.:21:14.

on Health Services across the world, are intense. Nowhere perhaps do we

:21:15.:21:20.

see that more clearlily than in our A service, but there we see the

:21:21.:21:27.

commitment of our NHS professionals. In Scotland, 90.8% of patients are

:21:28.:21:31.

seen within the four hour haar get. That is still not as good as we want

:21:32.:21:36.

it to be. But it is better by a significant distance than any other

:21:37.:21:47.

part of the UK. In England. ... In England the figure is just 77.6%.

:21:48.:21:53.

More than 13 points behind Scotland. Perhaps someone should have informed

:21:54.:21:55.

the Prime Minister of that fact before she had the brass neck to

:21:56.:22:00.

lecture us about governance. APPLAUSE

:22:01.:22:10.

But we have more to do. One of the challenges that our NHS faces is the

:22:11.:22:19.

increasing number of people seeking support from mental Health Service,

:22:20.:22:22.

actually that is is a welcome development. It show that's the

:22:23.:22:25.

stigma that stopped people asking for help in years gone by is now

:22:26.:22:30.

fading, but it places an obligation on us to invest more in services to

:22:31.:22:34.

meet that need. Over the next few weeks we will publish our new ten

:22:35.:22:38.

year mental health strategy. That strategy will know Cups not just on

:22:39.:22:42.

traditional mental Health Service, it will look at what we immediate to

:22:43.:22:46.

do across the NHS and in wider society too.

:22:47.:22:50.

For example, we know that GP surgeries are and A services are

:22:51.:22:53.

often the front line for mental health. And outside the NHS, we know

:22:54.:22:58.

that too many who end up in our prisons, and our police cells, have

:22:59.:23:02.

mental health issues that go untreated. We want to change that.

:23:03.:23:08.

So let me outline today just some the action we will take. We will

:23:09.:23:14.

increase the mental health workforce, giving access to

:23:15.:23:17.

dedicated mental health professionals, to all of our A

:23:18.:23:21.

departments 24 hours a day, to all of our GP practises, to every

:23:22.:23:26.

custody suite in every police station and to our prisons. In total

:23:27.:23:31.

we will increase the budget by ?35 million over the next five years, to

:23:32.:23:37.

support the employment of 800 additional mental health workers in

:23:38.:23:41.

our hospitals, GP surgeries, prisons and police stations.

:23:42.:23:42.

APPLAUSE Providing health care to those who

:23:43.:23:59.

need it is one of our most important responsibilities. But I have made

:24:00.:24:04.

clear that the defining mission of our Government is education. I

:24:05.:24:08.

believe Scotland as a country has the right to choose our own future.

:24:09.:24:13.

But we must also make sure that the people who live here have the means

:24:14.:24:17.

and opportunity to make choices about their own lives. That means

:24:18.:24:20.

building a country where every child can make the most of their talents.

:24:21.:24:25.

We are determined to close the attainment gap in our schools. But

:24:26.:24:31.

we know that life chances are far too often determined before a child

:24:32.:24:36.

even starts school. Doubling the provision of high quality

:24:37.:24:39.

state-funded childcare as we intend to do in this Parliament, is

:24:40.:24:45.

therefore a key part of our plans. Rightly...

:24:46.:24:50.

APPLAUSE Rightly, when we talk about the

:24:51.:24:55.

childcare revolution, we focus on the benefits for children, and

:24:56.:24:59.

parents. But there is another benefit. Delivering our pledge will

:25:00.:25:03.

involve the recruitment of thousands more people to work in our nursery,

:25:04.:25:08.

we need to demonstrate how much we value this work. I am very proud of

:25:09.:25:13.

the steps our Government has already taken, to extend payment of the

:25:14.:25:17.

living wage. We have led by exam in the public sector, and we have

:25:18.:25:21.

encouraged businesses to see the benefit, not just for staff but for

:25:22.:25:25.

their bottom line. I can confirm today we intend to apply that

:25:26.:25:28.

approach to our expansion of childcare. In public sector

:25:29.:25:35.

nurseries, staff already receive the living wage. But there are currently

:25:36.:25:41.

around 1,000 private nurseries, helping to deliver our free

:25:42.:25:45.

childcare policy and currently round 80% of the childcare staff who work

:25:46.:25:51.

in them don't earn the living wage. That is 8,000 people in total. There

:25:52.:25:56.

are few more important jobs than caring for our youngest children. So

:25:57.:26:00.

I can announce today that by the end of this Parliament, we will invest

:26:01.:26:06.

?50 million to ensure that all staff, working in private nurseries,

:26:07.:26:11.

delivering our childcare pledge, are paid the real living wage.

:26:12.:26:14.

APPLAUSE Friends, we can do all these things

:26:15.:26:30.

to improve the lives of the people of Scotland, because we are in

:26:31.:26:35.

Government. And it is a privilege to serve. That privilege to serve is

:26:36.:26:39.

something we should never take for granted. We must earn and reearn the

:26:40.:26:44.

trust of the people each and every day. The opportunity to serve our

:26:45.:26:49.

country in Government was something that past generations of SNP members

:26:50.:26:54.

could only dream about. For it is down to their efforts that I stand

:26:55.:26:59.

here before you, as First Minister. When the story of our party and of

:27:00.:27:03.

Scotland's independence is written, it will be those who worked so hard

:27:04.:27:08.

against seemingly impossible odds who will take centre stage.

:27:09.:27:10.

APPLAUSE .

:27:11.:27:22.

And there is little doubt that one person and one date will stand out.

:27:23.:27:32.

Winning Ewing, 1967. -- Winnie.

:27:33.:27:43.

Exactly 50 years ago, this year, Winnie won the Hamilton by-election,

:27:44.:27:52.

and made this famous declaration. Stop the world, Scotland wants to

:27:53.:27:55.

get on. APPLAUSE

:27:56.:28:08.

Let those words resonate today. We are a European, international list

:28:09.:28:16.

party, leading a European international list country. We will

:28:17.:28:20.

make sure that our voice is heard here at home and we will stand up

:28:21.:28:26.

for Scotland's values abroad. And one of those values is self

:28:27.:28:32.

determination. An unshakeable... APPLAUSE

:28:33.:28:40.

An unshakeable belief in the sovereign right of the people of

:28:41.:28:44.

Scotland, to determine our own future. Last week, I had the very

:28:45.:28:49.

sad honour of speaking at a memorial service for one of the greatest

:28:50.:28:55.

advocates of that principle. The late canon Kenyon Wright. When he

:28:56.:28:59.

chaired the convention he posed this question of the then Tory

:29:00.:29:04.

Government's opposition to devolution. What happened, he asked,

:29:05.:29:08.

if the other voice we know so well responds by saying we say no, and we

:29:09.:29:16.

are the state. His answer to that question, so relevant again today

:29:17.:29:20.

was this. Well, we say yes and we are the people.

:29:21.:29:22.

APPLAUSE Friends, as we go forward, we must

:29:23.:30:02.

work to win the support of the people in the communities we serve.

:30:03.:30:06.

We must always work to build a better Scotland for everyone who

:30:07.:30:11.

lives here. We must stand up to our country and always trust the people.

:30:12.:30:16.

As we an poach this crossroads in our national life, let us resolve to

:30:17.:30:21.

give Scotland a choice. Choice. Let this message ring out today.

:30:22.:30:27.

Scotland's future will be in Scotland's hands. Thank you very

:30:28.:30:31.

much. APPLAUSE

:30:32.:30:44.

The SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, taking the applause

:30:45.:30:51.

after her spring conference speech in Aberdeen, a national party with a

:30:52.:30:55.

truly internationalist outlook, she said, appealing to those outside the

:30:56.:30:59.

hall who might be resentful about another referendum, but she said one

:31:00.:31:02.

would happen, and the vote in parliament next week comes the will

:31:03.:31:08.

of the Parliament of Scotland. She focused on being pro-immigration,

:31:09.:31:12.

saying, come to Scotland, but she recognised people would have

:31:13.:31:15.

concerns and she said it was useful for economic reasons. She said that

:31:16.:31:19.

Scotland's future is in Scotland's hands. John Curtice, Jerry Fisher,

:31:20.:31:27.

one of the well-known delegates. John, your reaction. The crucial

:31:28.:31:30.

message was Nicola Sturgeon trying again to persuade the people of

:31:31.:31:36.

Scotland that indeed the country should have another referendum on

:31:37.:31:39.

independence, and in particular she was trying to come up against that

:31:40.:31:43.

charge from the Prime Minister that the SNP have tunnel vision and say,

:31:44.:31:48.

no, we are offering choice. You heard the word choice time after

:31:49.:31:51.

time. She is trying to say, look, we are willing to put the country's

:31:52.:31:57.

future in your hands, unlike the Prime Minister, and hoping to win

:31:58.:32:01.

the moral argument. At the same time, we began to see the developer

:32:02.:32:05.

of the SNP case for independence. Strong passages about immigration,

:32:06.:32:10.

perhaps quite bold, because the polling evidence would suggest quite

:32:11.:32:13.

a lot of people are still concerned about immigration, but a crucial

:32:14.:32:18.

passage in which she acknowledged that making the economic case for

:32:19.:32:21.

independence would be important and might not be easy. I think that if

:32:22.:32:25.

the other aspect of the SNP arguments we need to look forward

:32:26.:32:29.

to. Thank you for that. That brings an end to live coverage of the SNP

:32:30.:32:34.

conference, and the end of the four-week spring party conference

:32:35.:32:38.

season. There is more on the Sunday politics tomorrow at 11am. From all

:32:39.:32:39.

of us, goodbye for now. Scotland is coming out

:32:40.:32:46.

of the European Union

:32:47.:32:50.