David Mundell speech to Conservative Party Conference 2018


David Mundell MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, speaking today at Conservative Party Conference at The ICC, Birmingham, said:

(Check against delivery)

Opening statement

“Thank you David for the introduction.

I would firstly like to take this opportunity to wish my colleague and friend, Ruth Davidson, well, on behalf of the Conference, before she goes on maternity leave.

I look forward to her return and continuing the work to make her leader… of a Scottish Conservative Government at Holyrood. 

Conference, the SNP have kept Scotland in gridlock for far too long.

Nicola Sturgeon continues to threaten us with a second independence referendum but has not called for one because she says that there is not enough clarity on the terms of the final Brexit Deal.

But we know what she is really saying is: Scots don’t want independence today but maybe the polls will say something different tomorrow.

Conference, that is just not good enough.

Every day that Scotland is stuck in a constitutional Groundhog Day is a day that our economy is being held back and that the SNP Government is not getting on with the day job of managing our schools and hospitals.

So I want to use this opportunity to say to Sturgeon….

It is time to end the constitutional uncertainty that we have lived with for the past four years.

It is time for Scotland’s two governments to work together in the best interests of the Scottish people.

It is time to move on.

Conference, it is clear that we are the only party that is standing up for a stronger Union.

Just two weeks ago, Jeremy Corbyn said that he ‘would decide at the time’ what to do if Sturgeon asked for his consent for a second independence referendum.

Conference, a man that can’t even make up his mind about the future of this country, is a man that we can never let into Downing Street. 

Because it is this party that is delivering opportunity for all in Scotland

Transferring substantial new tax and welfare powers to the Scottish Parliament.

Investing over £1 billion directly in cities from Inverness to Edinburgh.

Supporting the North Sea oil and gas sector.

Saving our armed forces from an SNP tax grab.

And that is the work that we will continue in the months and years ahead.