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Monday 27th
posted by Zoe Streatfield in Britain

Fresh independence vote ‘would distract from real problems’

JEREMY CORBYN detailed his opposition yesterday to the council cuts unleashed on the Scottish people by the SNP, insisting that the second independence referendum for which it is campaigning would do nothing to address Scotland’s real problems.

Addressing the Scottish Labour conference, he said that both Tories and SNP talked of taking back powers from Brussels and Westminster, but neither party wants to take on transnational companies and big business.

And the party leader warned people to “never again accept any moralising lectures from the Greens” after they recently helped the SNP pass a budget slashing local government funding by £170 million.

Mr Corbyn said that the Tories have been seeking to make post-Brexit Britain “a deregulated, bargain-basement, tax-haven economy” and accused them of trying to suck up to US President Donald Trump.

Their aim is to negotiate trade deals to have our public services sold to US corporations, he explained.

He continued: “Let us never forget that cutting taxes for big business was also exactly what the SNP wanted to do in the referendum.

“They promised Scotland they would cut corporation tax to help Scotland become competitive, dynamic and business-friendly.

“But, conference, how would giving corporate giants tax cuts … sort the underfunding of our precious NHS or fix the social-care crisis?

“How is that type of economy going to tackle poverty and the scandal of health inequality that so stubbornly persists here in Scotland? It won’t work for the Tories. And it won’t work for the SNP.”

He added: “The [SNP] are not standing up to Theresa May, they’re doing her job.”

The SNP needs to “listen to the people and respect democracy” as polling since Brexit has shown a drop in support for Scottish independence, the Labour leader said, adding that another independence referendum would divert attention from the real problems that Scotland faces.

Mr Corbyn admitted that losing last week’s Copeland by-election to the Tories was “deeply disappointing,” but insisted that now was the time to stand together and fight, rather than retreat.

He congratulated the people of Stoke-on-Trent Central for having stood against the “hatred and division” of Ukip in that constituency’s by-election on Thursday, which saw Labour retain the seat.

Mr Corbyn called for unity to “turn back the Tory tide and reconnect Labour with our working-class voters and values, so we can win power and rebuild and transform Britain for the many, not the few.”