SNP insists independence vote as Brexit alternative

The nationalists took 56 out of Scotland's 59 electoral districts in 2015 and the Tories are aiming to win some of them on June 8 after the Labour Party's widespread loss of support in what used to be one of its heartlands.

Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold another ballot at the end of the Brexit process after the majority of Scots voted to remain in the European Union previous year.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has pledged to strengthen Scotland's environmental protections as the Party's newly released manifesto calls for a second independence referendum to be held "at the end of the Brexit process".

"And the SNP will always make the case that Scotland should have the right to make our own decisions on Scotland's future - and stand against any Tory attempts to diminish the powers of our Scottish Parliament or reverse the gains of devolution".

A Conservative spokesman said: "If the SNP were serious about this they'd apply it in Scotland where they can already do it".

"You walk into Downing Street in a couple of weeks' time, what do you say to Nicola Sturgeon?".

Ms Sturgeon indicated the vote may be delayed past her proposed autumn 2018 and spring 2019 timetable.

The first minister said that she wanted to speak to pensioners directly yesterday, warning them that the Conservatives were pitting the young against the old and were "taking the votes of many older people for granted".

Among the manifesto pledges are plans to hold a Brexit deal referendum, add a penny to income tax to invest £35m in mental health, end the 1% public sector pay cap, and scrap the two-child cap on tax credits and associated "rape clause".

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has launched the SNP general election manifesto for 2017.

The same data suggests that Scotland is the only part of the country where voters believe Jeremy Corbyn would make a better Prime Minister than Theresa May.

The SNP a year ago said it would consider a second referendum if there was a material change in Scotland's circumstances, such as Britain leaving the EU.

An ORB poll for the Sunday Telegraph put support for Labour on 38% - six points behind the Conservatives and a result which would see Jeremy Corbyn outpoll both Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown.

She added: "For the Tories, austerity cuts are not simply a policy response to a particular economic situation". Under a SNP government the NHS will receive additional funding by 2021, 2022 the NHS Scotland budget would increase by an extra £1 billion.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "Nicola Sturgeon has once again confirmed that her number one priority in this election is her plan for another unwanted and divisive independence referendum".

The SNP also gave its support to increasing the top rate of tax across the United Kingdom from 45p to 50p, alongside plans to increase the "real living wage" to just over £10 an hour by the end of the next parliament, as part of a "three-point plan to tackle poverty and inequality".

The SNP will today launch their election manifesto in the full knowledge that for them, the only way is down. Nobody is fooled any more.

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