Willie Rennie: Tories are tearing themselves apart and damaging Britain in the process

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie gave a keynote speech to his party’s conference in Dunfermline

THE SCOTTISH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS leader has said that the Conservatives are tearing themselves apart and damaging Britain in the process.

Willie Rennie told the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference in Dunfermline that policies of the UK Government are damaging the health service, the economy and the poor. 

Rennie said: "The foreign secretary bungles, condemning a British woman to a longer jail sentence in Iran. 

"The international development secretary offers aid money for the occupied territories of Israel behind the prime minister’s back. The chancellor accuses the European Union of being the enemy just before he wants to shake hands on a deal as friends  and the prime minister loses her majority, loses her authority and loses control of her cabinet.

“At one of the most important periods in our politics, this is not the time for incompetents. They have won some seats in Scotland by being firm against independence.

"Never has the Con in Conservative been bigger.” Willie Rennie

"But so are the rest of us. And it’s wrong that people are expected to swallow the rest of the Conservative rubbish as a price.

"Never has the Con in Conservative been bigger.

"The Royal College of GPs says Conservative Brexit plans will cost 300 GP posts, but the Scottish Conservatives ignore that and stand on high streets saying they care about GPs.

"The London School of Economics say Scotland could lose billions because of Brexit yet the Scottish Conservatives claim to be the party of the economy.

"They are a party that thinks it is OK to botch the roll-out of Universal Credit, delay money for six weeks and then charge the poorest people in Britain 55p a minute to phone a helpline to try to sort it out." Willie Rennie

"They are a party that thinks it is OK to botch the roll-out of Universal Credit, delay money for six weeks and then charge the poorest people in Britain 55p a minute to phone a helpline to try to sort it out."

Meanwhile, Rennie called on his party to lead a debate on the benefits of immigration

In his speech to the conference, Rennie set out the benefits immigration would bring to local communities across Scotland in the event of the UK leaving the EU.

Also, Rennie accused Brexiteers of risking the economy in an obsessive pursuit of a damaging Brexit.

“If the Conservatives keep that promise, and immigration is cut, it will damage our economy and public services, and even more, will feel betrayed because they were not told this would happen” Willie Rennie

Rennie told delegates: “If immigration is not cut with Brexit then Leavers will feel betrayed because that is what they voted for. If the Conservatives keep that promise, and immigration is cut, it will damage our economy and public services, and even more, will feel betrayed because they were not told this would happen.

“While leaders bicker about transition periods and single markets and common external tariffs the elephant in the room is immigration. In the Brexit vote, people were promised fewer foreigners in our country. Yet people were not told the price of that policy.  And it is big.

“The price is a shortage of workers to get food from British farm into the shops.

“The price is a shortage of carers, nurses and GPs.

 “My call today is for people to stand up for immigration. Stand up to save our farms, universities and health service. We shouldn’t be timid. We need this debate now.” Willie Rennie

“The price is billions of pounds of lost taxes from these jobs.

“They are already going home, and Brexit has not even happened yet.”

Rennie added: “Some say that too much immigration is a threat to our way of life. But the truth is that not enough immigration is the real threat to our way of life. It’s not the workers from Poland, Romania or Bulgaria who we should fear. We should fear all those political leaders who are blindly backing Brexit. These are the people we should be sending home.

“The Conservatives do not want a debate over immigration. But we need it and that is what I am calling for today before it’s too late.

 “My call today is for people to stand up for immigration. Stand up to save our farms, universities and health service. We shouldn’t be timid. We need this debate now.”

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