Benefits System Not Fit For Purpose

'In recent weeks I’ve had the chance to highlight in Parliament just a few of the many appalling decisions my constituents have been subjected to by the Department for Work and Pensions.

One lady was called in for a re-assessment because her medical condition had got significantly worse, and lost her benefits as a result. A constituent who has had a leg amputated was told, on the basis of a phone conversation, that he could walk five times further than when he last had a full physical assessment. Two different people had their benefits cut but the DWP decided not to tell them in case they reacted badly to the news.

In all these cases staff at our local Job Centres have been first class but the good work they are doing is undermined by the callous decisions at the centralised assessment centres. The assessment process is just one appalling aspect of a benefits system that is unfit for purpose.

Brexit Cliff-Edge Draws Closer

At the time of writing, there’s little chance of the Prime Minister honouring her promise to bring back a better Brexit deal than the one that was so humiliatingly defeated in January. She insists on trying to blackmail MPs by claiming that the only alternative to her rotten deal is to leave on March 29 with no deal at all. This is untrue.

The SNP are continuing to demand that a disastrous “no deal” Brexit be ruled out altogether. We’re also calling on the government to ask the EU to extend the “Article 50” period beyond March 29. This would allow time, for example, to let the people decide whether or not to accept her deal.

We should never forget that the single biggest argument against Independence in 2014 was that voting no was the only way to guarantee Scotland’s place in the EU. This argument has now been turned on its head as it becomes clear that being part of the UK is what is threatening our EU membership. Whatever happens with Brexit votes in the next few weeks it’s obvious that the United Kingdom we were asked to stay part of in 2014 no longer exists. The people of Scotland have the right to decide whether our future still lies in failed Tory Britain or whether we should accept the welcome that awaits us as an Independent European nation'.