News | Published November 25 2019

Sturgeon: SNP would support Labour without coalition

SNP leader and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that her party would be willing to support a minority Labour government but in a “less formal” manner than a coalition.

Sturgeon did, however, say that committing to axe the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent programme would be one of the SNP’s demands in order for Labour to win its support in any alternative confidence and supply arrangement, along with a commitment to stop Brexit and grant Scotland a second independence referendum in 2020.

Sturgeon decisively ruled out entering any similar arrangement with the Conservatives, saying she would “never, ever” put Boris Johnson into Number Ten.

However, the Labour Party has previously said that it would not agree to a second referendum on Scottish independence in its “early years” of government, while party leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell have both indicated that they would not enter into election pacts or deals with other parties.

Speaking on Question Time on Friday, Corbyn said: "We're not doing any deals with any other parties. I'm not trying to form a coalition government. I’m fighting this election to win it for Labour.”

Labour’s election manifesto, unveiled last week, includes a commitment to renew Trident and pledge a minimum of two per cent GDP on the defence budget, despite Corbyn having been a vocal critic of nuclear arms.

Speaking to Sky, Sturgeon said: “I have a moral objection to weapons of mass destruction…I wouldn’t be prepared to press a nuclear button that would kill potentially millions, tens of millions, of people.

"But there's also the opportunity costs of Trident - the billions, tens of billions, that are required to renew Trident in my view are better spent on stronger, conventional defence that is more effective to protect our country but also hospitals and schools and better social security provision.

"And these are the choices that we should be thinking very carefully about.”

Meanwhile, a Conservative party spokesperson has hit back at Sturgeon's claims, saying that Trident is "good for Britain's security and good for Scottish jobs."

If her party were to ultimately have an influence in supporting a Labour government, Sturgeon has indicated that she would also push for issues such as migration laws, employment and drugs classification to be devolved, as well as forcing the government to commit to putting a "real end to austerity”, which she said would “resonate strongly with many people across the UK”.

Sturgeon added that a hung parliament in December would be a “pretty good outcome…in terms of making sure Scotland’s voice is heard”.

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
November 25 2019

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