Nicola Sturgeon described Brexit as an “unnecessary and unforgivable act” that is damaging Scottish businesses and causing food shortages.
Scotland’s First Minister said this afternoon: “That is what this Tory Government has done – and there may yet be worse to come.
“The combination of the pandemic and a deeply hostile immigration policy is also causing labour shortages across many sectors.
“So the short-term costs are very clear – and very bad – but even greater damage will be felt in the long-term.”
Sturgeon continued: “Westminster will use all that damage that they have inflicted as an argument for yet more Westminster control.”
She added: “They want us to believe we are powerless in the face of the disastrous decisions they have taken for us and the damage those decisions is doing.”
Arguing the case for another Scottish independence referendum, Sturgeon said: “My approach to government and to politics will be, as far as
possible, co-operation not confrontation.
“The experience of the pandemic and the challenges we face as a result reinforces my view that this is the right approach.
“So it is in that spirit of co-operation that I hope the Scottish and UK governments can reach agreement – as we did in 2014 – to allow the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland to be heard and respected.
“But, this much is clear. Democracy must – and will – prevail.”
The Scottish First Minister said the COP26 climate change summit can “avert catastrophe” but it may be humanity’s “last chance”.
Weeks before the conference is due to begin in Glasgow in November, Sturgeon said: “Make no mistake, this summit represents the world’s best chance – probably our last chance – to limit global warming to 1.5C in line with the Paris Agreement.
“No one underestimates the scale of the challenge.
But no one should underestimate the impact on lives – particularly the lives of the world’s poorest – if we fail to meet this challenge.”
Sturgeon also announced that the Scottish Government has agreed to fund the Conference of Youth in the run-up to COP26, welcoming young people from up to 140 countries around the world.
She added: “We cannot allow the world’s children and young people to be silenced in Glasgow on an issue so vital to their future.”