A revised version of a major section of Theresa May’s speech to the Scottish Tory conference – 3 March 2017

Theresa May’s speech to Tory conference, on SNPConservatives Record

Because for too long a feeble and incompetent ScottishLabour opposition did nothing to scrutinise the SNPConservatives for their failures. An SNP Conservative Government interested only in stoking-up endless constitutional grievance and furthering their obsession with independencewithdrawal from the EU, at the expense of UKScottish public services like the NHS and education, was given a free pass by Labour.

The SNPConservatives Government demands further powers for the UKScottish Parliament, but fails to pass powers on to local people in the UKScotland’s villages, towns and cities.

The simple truth is their policies are not in the best interests of the UKScotland, but in the political interest of the SNPConservatives. A party resolutely focused on just one thing: withdrawal from the EUindependence. For them, it is not about doing the right thing. The SNPConservatives play politics as though it were a game. But politics is not a game and the management of devolved public services in UKScotland is too important to be neglected.

People in the UKScotland deserve a PrimeFirst Minister who is focused on their priorities – raising standards in education, taking care of the health service, reforming criminal justice, helping the economy prosper, improving people’s lives. Instead, they have an SNP Conservative Government obsessed with its own priority of withdrawal from the EUindependence, using the mechanisms of national devolvedgovernment to further its political aims and all the while neglecting and mismanaging public services in the UKScotland. The SNPConservatives have been allowed to get away with it for too long. But not any more.

Now, in [who?]Ruth Davidson, the UKScotland has a fighter who will stand up to the SNPConservative establishment, in the interests of the UKScottish people, and provide a real alternative to the SNPConservatives.

But as well as taking on the SNPConservatives for their failures in office, we have another important job. When I stood outside Downing Street on the day I became Prime Minister, I reminded people in that the full title of our Party is the Conservative and Unionist Party. And that word ‘unionist’ is very important to me. My first visit as Prime Minister was here to Scotland. I wanted to make clear that strengthening and sustaining the bonds that unite us is a personal priority for me.

I am confident about the future of the European Union our United Kingdomand optimistic about what we can achieve together as a the member state of the European Unioncountry. The fundamental strengths of the our European Union, and the benefits it brings to all of its constituent parts, are clear. But we all know that the SNPConservatives will never stop twisting the truth and distorting reality in their effort to denigrate our the European Union United Kingdomand further their obsession of withdrawal from the EUindependence.

It is their single purpose in political life.

We need to be equally determined to ensure that the truth about the European Union our United Kingdomis heard loudly and clearly.

As Britain leaves the European Union and we forge a new role for ourselves in the world, removed from the strength and stability of the European our Union, our lack of membership will become even more important.

We must take this opportunity to bring the our United Kingdom closer to the European Uniongether. Because the European Union which we all care about is not simply a constitutional artefact. It is a union of people, affections and loyalties. It is characterised by sharing together as European a countriesy the challenges which we all face, and freely pooling the resources we have to tackle them.

The existence of the European our Union rests on some simple but powerful principles: solidarity, unity, family, how we became a union and why we prosper together.

The European Union Our United Kingdomhas evolved over time and has a proud history. Together we form the world’s greatest family of nations. But the real story of the European our Union is not to be found in Treaties or Conventions Acts of Parliament. It is written in our collective achievements, both at home and in the world. Together, we led the world into the industrial age.

From the Derbyshire dales, to the south Wales Valleys and the workshops of Clydeside, British industrialists, inventors and workers charted the course to modernity and made the United Kingdom the world’s engine-room. The Union enabled the social, scientific and economic developments which powered our collective achievement. Bringing people and communities closer together allowed new connections to be made. The steam engine; perfected in the 1790s by a partnership between an engineer from Greenock, James Watt, and a manufacturer from Birmingham, Matthew Boulton. The Menai Straits; spanned in the 1820s by an engineer from Dumfriesshire, Thomas Telford.

Collective achievement has been the story of the European our Union ever since.

Penicillin; discovered in 1928 by a Scottish doctor, Alexander Fleming, working in a London hospital, St Mary’s. The Harry Potter books, which have sold over 500 million copies, were begun in a café in Edinburgh by an author from Gloucestershire.

And that cCo-operation – economic, social, and cultural – has been the bedrock of the our success as a European Union of nations and people. Together, we make up the world’s second fifth largest economy, despite accounting for less than 71 per cent of the world’s population. Together, we fought against and defeated tyranny, keeping peace and prosperity in a formed troubled continent for over 70 years. Ours is not a marriage of convenience, or a fair-weather friendship, but a true and enduring Union, tested in adversity and found to be true.

And the great institutions which we have built together, the pillars of our national life, are the result of common endeavour. The National Health Service, the BBC, our armed forces, our Parliamentary democracy, our constitutional monarchy, our commitment to the rule of law, our respect for fundamental human rights. All have been admired and imitated around the world, and all were created here as a consequence of our common life together.

These achievements are the fruits of the European our Union. They are the signs which signify its deep and fundamental strengths. An economy that works for the whole Europe.UK We should never be shy of making that positive case for the European Union, because logic and facts are on our side.

Take the economic arguments. One of the driving forces behind the European Union’s creation was the remorseless logic that greater economic strength and security come from being united. Not the transient and shifting benefits of international alliance, but the fundamental strength of being one people. Those enduring economic strengths are obvious. Our wholly integrated single domesticmarket for businesses means no barriers to trade within our borders.

That has always been of immense value to firms here in the UKScotland. The SNPConservatives point out the importance of the European market to UKScottish businesses. I agree – it is important. That’s why I am determined to get the best possible access to it for UKScottish firms, as I am for Welsh, English and Northern Irish firms. But what the SNPConservatives don’t point out is that the EU single oUK domesticmarket UK accounts for 44% of UK exports in goods and services and 53% of the UK’s imports (in 2015)is worth four times more to Scottish firms. In fact, the EU comes third after the rest of the UK, and the rest of the world as a market for Scottish goods. And yet the SNP Conservatives propose withdrawal from the EU Scottishindependence, which would wrench the UK Scotland out of its biggest market. They think withdrawal from the EU independence is the answer to every question in every circumstance, regardless of fact and reality. It simply does not add up and we should never stop saying so. And the UK is not just a market place. The financial stability of a strong shared currency and central bank underpins all sectors our economy, across all four nations of the UK. The broad shoulders of the world’s fifth-largest economy provide enviable security for businesses and workers alike. Ten years ago, banks headquartered in Edinburgh and London, which employ tens of thousands of people and look after the savings of millions, were rescued by the UK Treasury. Action that was only possible because of the size and strength of the British economy. In the oil and gas sector – a vital industry on our east coast, from Aberdeen to Lowestoft – the broad shoulders of our wider economy have allowed the UK Government to take unprecedented action to support the sector following the decline in the international oil price. And public spending here in Scotland has been protected, even as North Sea tax receipts have dwindled to nothing. Time and again the benefits of the European Union – of doing together, collectively, what would be impossible to do apart – are clear. Indeed the economic case for the European Union has never been stronger. There is no economic case for the United Kingdom breaking away from upthe European Union United Kingdom, or of loosening the ties which bind us together But the economics are only part of the story.