The Future of Scotland

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 9:29 am on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party 9:29 am, 29th March 2007

The SNP's commitment not only to cutting business rates but to abolishing them for 120,000 small businesses is well known and will make a huge difference.

Those are our policy priorities, but any Government worth its salt is more than just the sum of its policies; it is also the voice of the nation. Judged by that standard, this Government has failed. On the illegal war in Iraq, on nuclear power and nuclear weapons and on the question of more powers for our Parliament, this Government has failed time and again to speak up for Scotland. However, let me make it clear that an SNP Government will stand up for Scotland. We will make Scotland's voice heard. We will not sit on the fence on the issue of new nuclear power stations. We will say that it is time to bring our troops home from Iraq. We will never back the decision to put a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons on the Clyde. Further, we will trust the Scottish people to decide Scotland's future. A democratic referendum will put the decision on independence firmly where it belongs—in the hands not of politicians but of the Scottish people.