MSP blast’s independence ‘political obsession’

An MSP has slammed the SNP’s priorities as “utterly ridiculous” following a debate in parliament on independence.

Jamie Halcro Johnston has included the need for a new Gilbert Bain Hospital in a long list of issues which, he says, could have been discussed instead.

The Highlands and Islands List MSP, who serves as the shadow minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise, says time could also have been spent debating Highly Protected Marine Areas, which fishing leaders warn could have a severe impact on Shetland’s fishing industry.

“It is utterly ridiculous that, once again, the SNP and Greens are prioritising their political obsession with independence over all the other things we could – and should – be using this important chamber time to cover,” he said.

“With the need for new hospitals in Fort William and Lerwick, improved services on Skye, and pressure on GPs and dentists right across the Highlands and Islands, we could have been debating health issues and how to deliver the NHS we need.

“With our farmers and crofters waiting for clarity over future support for the sector, we could have been debating agriculture and rural issues. Or how to support our coastal communities, not threaten their futures with a blanket approach to HPMAs.

“And we could have spent the time looking at ways to support families through the cost of living crisis and the difficult time many are having finding a home and heating it.

“But rather than using this valuable parliamentary time to address the needs of Scotland, the SNP and Greens will spend it on their stuttering campaign for independence and trying to justify Humza Yousaf’s new 100,000 taxpayer-funded minister for independence.

“The SNP’s constant fixation on independence is not only a distraction from the real issues facing our country, it is downright insulting. 

“Their endless constitutional navel-gazing is a waste of time and energy that families across the Highlands and Islands simply cannot afford.”


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.