Blackford urges an “agenda of hope”

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Leading Nationalist Ian Blackford has called for Scotland to aspire to an “agenda of hope” following the referendum defeat, arguing that the country can improve its fortunes even without independence.

The former SNP party treasurer visited the Newsnet Radio studio – shared with Bateman Broadcasting – to discuss the coming general election campaign with host Derek Bateman.

“Net migration from Scotland in the last 100 years has been 2m people. We have got to change that. When you look at our advantages – our universities, our ingenuity and our industries – we have to look at how we can build on them,” commented Blackford.

He says that a wealth creating agenda can sit comfortably with the desire for a “fairer Scotland”, and wants to see more dialogue about how Scotland can achieve genuine growth. “Austerity dampens demand. You need an agenda that is focused on sustainable economic growth,” he adds.

In the absence of independence, Blackford is among many Yes supporters to press for genuine Home Rule: where Scotland shares defence and foreign affairs with the rest of the UK, and controls the other levers of power.