Speaking in advance of the UK Government’s Queen’s Speech, Scottish National Party Westminster Group leader Angus Robertson MP said that the SNP offered a sustained and effective opposition to the Tory government – compared to a leaderless Labour Party which is debating moving further onto Tory policy ground. Mr Robertson said:

On a range of issues – such as gaining a Commons debate on the whistleblower report about the security of Trident nuclear weapons, to demanding urgent action on the Mediterranean refugee crisis – the SNP group of 56 are already a strong and effective opposition to the Tory government.

That will be demonstrated further in our response to the UK government’s Queen’s Speech.

“Our priority is ending austerity, and the damage it does to people’s lives.

The Tory government’s priority is ending human rights, and we will work across party lines and with colleagues in the Scottish Parliament to stop them scrapping the Human Rights Act.

To a large extent, the Labour Party leadership debate at Westminster is focussing on Labour moving yet further onto Tory policy ground. During the election, it was the SNP – not Labour – which proposed a real alternative to austerity, and we received the mandate of 56 out of Scotland’s 59 constituencies.

Opposing austerity will be at the heart of our response to the Tories’ programme for government.

And since the election, we have seen Labour u-turn to back the Tories on a European referendum – and support their ridiculous and discriminatory position of allowing some but not all EU nationals to vote.

“In terms of more powers for Scotland, it is an early test of the UK Government’s good faith that the Scotland Bill lives up to both the spirit and the letter of the Smith Commission.

The Scottish Government has already set out the shortcomings of the draft legislation published in January, and submitted detailed amendments to the UK Government to bring their original proposals into line with Smith, so there can be no excuse.

‚ÄúThis is the first key test. And as the First Minister agreed with David Cameron, the Scottish Government will also put forward proposals for a transfer of powers beyond Smith for discussion between the Scottish Secretary and the Deputy First Minister – for which half of Scotland’s electorate voted.

The people of Scotland have spoken, and Westminster has a democratic duty to listen. “In these and many more important areas, the real opposition to the Tories at Westminster is coming – and will continue to come – from the SNP.”