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The EU Vote Has Been Hijacked By The Tory Right - The SNP Will Fight Against Tory Brexit

13/10/2016 08:13 | Updated 14 October 2016
Russell Cheyne / Reuters

This blog post is an unedited version of the speech delivered by Nicola Sturgeon at the opening of the Scottish National Party's annual conference in Glasgow on Thursday 13 October

Over the next three days, we will talk in detail about our work to build a better, fairer Scotland.

At the heart of our plans is the ambition to build an inclusive Scotland. A country where we cherish diversity and value people for the contribution they make to our society - not one where we judge them on the country of their birth or the colour of their passport.

The contrast with the attitude of the Westminster government couldn't be more stark. Last week, we heard an intolerance towards those from other countries that has no place in a modern, multicultural, civilised society.

It was a disgrace. It shames the Tory party and all who speak for it. But make no mistake - the right wing of the Tory party is now in the ascendancy and it is seeking to hijack the referendum result.

Brexit has become Tory Brexit.

They are using it as licence for the xenophobia that has long lain under the surface - but which is now in full view. They are holding it up as cover for a hard Brexit that they have no mandate for - but which they are determined to impose, regardless of the ruinous consequences.

I suspect that many of those who voted to Leave now look at the actions and rhetoric of the Tories and think "that's not what I voted for".

They may have voted to take back control - but I don't imagine many of them are happy to have handed that control to Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox.

They certainly didn't vote to throw economic rationality out of the window.

They didn't vote to lower their own living standards or to sacrifice jobs and investment.

They didn't vote for our businesses to face tariffs or for holiday-makers to need visas.

They didn't vote for the scapegoating of foreigners.

I can confirm today that SNP MPs will vote against the Brexit bill when it come before the House of Commons next year.

That bill will repeal the legislation that enacted our EU membership. Scotland didn't vote for that and so neither will our MPs. But we will also work to persuade others - Labour, Liberals and moderate Tories - to join us in a coalition against a hard Brexit: not just for Scotland, but for the whole UK.

The Conservative Party manifesto, on which Theresa May and all other Tory MPs were elected said this: "We are clear about what we want from Europe. We say: yes to the Single Market".

The Prime Minister may have a mandate to take England and Wales out of the EU but she has no mandate whatsoever to remove any part of the UK from the Single Market.

And if the majority in the House of Commons stand up for what they know to be right, she will not get away with doing it.

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