MSP argues indy comments

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MSP Alex Fergusson has refuted recent health and farming claims by SNP minister Dr Aileen McLeod.

In articles recently printed in The Gazette, the SNP MSP firstly raised claimed the NHS would be saved by independence in September.

But now Mr Fergusson has hit out at her points and called the argument “disingenuous”.

He said: “In the first of these articles, Aileen McLeod MSP backs Nicola Sturgeon’s disingenuous argument that voting ‘Yes’ on September 18th will somehow ‘save’ the NHS in Scotland.

“Firstly, the NHS is already completely devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and has been since 1999. Secondly, the use of private companies south of the border is paid for by the UK Government, not by patients, so the NHS remains free at the point of delivery.

“Thirdly, the UK Government has ring-fenced and protected NHS funding since it was elected, and Scotland benefits considerably from the financial consequentials of that protection. Nicola Sturgeon’s argument is a false one.

“Dr McLeod’s second statement calls for the new UK Environment Secretary to “return cash to Scotland’s farmers”.

“While I fully supported the call for the EU’s convergence uplift funding to come to Scotland in its entirety, the decision has been made to distribute it in accordance with tradition across the constituent parts of the UK.

“Dr McLeod must face the fact that her SNP Government colleagues were clearly out-negotiated by the Welsh, Northern Irish and English as to how this money should be distributed.

Thi”s begs the question that if the SNP can’t handle a relatively simple negotiation of this nature, how does it hope to simultaneously negotiate the break-up of the UK and re-entry to the EU?

“The UK Government has pledged to review the funding distribution by 2016 and implement any changes in 2017.

“These are false arguments – the referendum debate and the Scottish people deserve better.”