In the past decade we have seen enormous change.

Scotland was dragged out of the EU – despite voting against it – and with that we have seen
living standards fall and the UK become poorer.

We’ve had three UK Prime Ministers in one year, one of which managed to crash the economy
in the 44 days she was in office.

And Labour and the Tories are now two sides of the same coin, with both parties aligning on
Brexit, austerity and immigration.

We have also seen some big changes within the SNP.

However, throughout all this change there has been one constant for SNP members and the
people of Scotland – hope for a better, independent future inside the European Union. Hope for

That’s what the SNP stands for – change through independence. That must be the message we
put front and centre in the upcoming general election campaign.

When Winne Ewing – Madame Ecosse – went to the EU Parliament she put Scotland on the map
and helped to establish Scotland’s strong links with our European neighbours. For that we will be
forever grateful to her.

But we cannot talk about her legacy without mentioning another – Brexit.

Since Brexit was imposed upon us by Westminster, our economy has shrunk, people are poorer,
there are mass staff shortages across the public and private sectors, universities and local
authorities have been starved of European money, and our young people have had their horizons
narrowed by being cut off from the Erasmus programme.

Brexit has had disastrous consequences for the whole of the UK. Yet the UK Tory government
continues to stick its head in the sand and ignore them, and the pro-Brexit Labour party are
trying to pretend they can make Brexit work.

Brexit isn’t working and it won’t work. We’ve had 7 years of Brexit misery and that isn’t about
to change. Brexit broke Britain.

With the Tories and Labour refusing to acknowledge this, we must be the ones to talk about the
damage Brexit has done to Scotland. We must be the ones to make the case for and seek that
better future as an independent country at the heart of the European project.

As a result of Westminster policies, including austerity and Brexit, people are being squeezed
every which way they turn. People are struggling to put food on the table, pay energy bills, pay
rent, pay mortgages, and buy school uniforms.

The cost-of-living crisis is Tory-made, with Brexit, austerity and former Tory Prime Minister Liz
Truss being key drivers.

Under this Tory government, the UK’s economic recovery since the COVID pandemic has
lagged behind most other advanced economies. In comparison, the EU’s economy is expected to
grow faster than previous predictions, with member states growing an average of 1% in 2023.

People in Scotland are looking to our European neighbours and seeing what it could be like.
People are desperate for change.

With the Labour party signed up to all the same big policies as the Tories, including Brexit,
austerity 2.0 and a hostile environment, the SNP is the only party in Scotland offering real hope
and real change through independence.

Independence will mean we will never again be under the thumb of Westminster governments
we don’t vote for, and that we can harness Scotland’s energy resources for the benefit of the
people living and working here. It means we can create a migration system that works for
Scotland, and expand our social security system that is based on fairness, dignity and respect.
The upcoming general election will be about change so let’s be clear that the SNP is the party of
change, and independence will be the change that we demand.

We must be confident in this message when we are out knocking doors and speaking to people
across Scotland.

We have to explain to people that independence makes sense – it is not an emotional decision at
this point but a logical one.

To protect our future, we have to create it. So let’s come together as a movement, chap doors,
talk to people, and create that better, independent future for Scotland.