Swinney claims Scotland’s voice ‘simply doesn’t matter to Westminster’

Scotland’s voice “simply doesn’t matter to Westminster”, First Minister John Swinney will declare.

The SNP leader will make the comments while campaigning in Aberdeen on Monday, railing against Brexit on the day after the eighth anniversary of the vote.

The decision to leave the EU, Mr Swinney will say, exposed the “myth of the union of equals”.

Scotland voted by 68% to 32% to stay in the EU – a fact that has been used consistently by the SNP to show the disparity between north and south of the border.

The First Minister will say the result of the 2016 referendum did not just impact the relationship with Europe.

“It told us something fundamental about the United Kingdom too,” he will add.

“It demonstrated that the UK is not a partnership of equal nations.

“The fact that Scotland voted to remain ultimately mattered not one jot to Westminster.

“That’s not equality – it’s a ‘know your place’ attitude.

“The way Scotland is being treated over Brexit is symptomatic of a wider ‘Westminster knows best’ union, whatever the cost to Scotland.

“While yesterday was the anniversary of the Brexit vote, today is the anniversary of people in Scotland waking up to the new reality.

Rishi Sunak, wearing glasses and a white shirt
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will campaign north of the border on Monday (PA)

“The reality not just that we were about to be dragged out of the EU against our will.

“But the reality that Scotland’s voice simply does not matter to the Westminster establishment.

“The myth of the union of equals was extinguished for so many people across Scotland on this day eight years ago.”

Speaking on the day both the Prime Minister and the shadow chancellor visit Scotland, Mr Swinney will add: “We see Westminster politicians take campaign trips north of the border to dismiss the very idea that Scotland can have real, genuine influence at Westminster.

“That is the reality of this unequal union.

“It is a reality that was made clear on this day eight years ago – and it is a reality that Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are reinforcing every single day of this campaign.

“So I am asking people to vote SNP if you believe it is best for Scotland’s future to be back in the European Union.”

But Scottish Tory deputy leader Meghan Gallacher said: “We know the SNP never respect referendum results.

“They are pushing for another one on independence – it’s page one, line one, of the SNP manifesto.

“In key seats across the country, only the Scottish Conservatives can beat the SNP and switch the focus away from their obsession with breaking up the UK and on to people’s real priorities – like fixing our ailing public services and creating good jobs.”