Nicola Sturgeon urged to 'get on with the job' and move on from 'incredibly depressing' independence debate

Tory MP Andrew Bowie has spoken to GB News about his frustration with the Scottish independence debate

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Andrew Bowie, former vice chairman of the Conservative Party, has campaigned passionately to keep Scotland within the UK.

The Arbroath-born politician, 35, holds a slim majority of just 843 in his West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine seat, with the SNP fighting hard to take it off the Tories at the next election.

But, speaking to GB News' Gloria de Piero, Mr Bowie made it clear that he intends to fight on and do whatever he can to prevent Nicola Sturgeon's party from achieving independence.

He also hit out at the Scottish First Minister for continuing the "incredibly depressing" debate.

In conversation with Mr Bowie, Gloria said: "So, you were part of the Better Together campaign in 2014.

"The Scottish referendum campaign, the Scottish independence campaign. We stayed, Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom, that vote was won.

"Nicola Sturgeon, who described that as a once-in-a-generation decision, says: 'Well there’s been a major shift in UK politics since the UK left the European Union, and that warrants Scottish people getting another say on their future.'

"What do you say?"

Andrew Bowie
Andrew Bowie

He replied: "This was not an issue when I was growing up.

"Scotland was in the United Kingdom, we had devolution nearly all of my political life. In fact, devolution all of my adult life, actually we’ve had devolution.

"And the idea that we would have spent, you know, nearly eight years, now, talking about nothing else but the constitution of Scotland – was unimaginable.

"It’s incredibly depressing, because there are so many other issues that we could be talking about, and we’re not.

"And, you know, for Nicola to say – for the First Minister, sorry, to say – that, because of Brexit, Scotland needs to have another say, another vote, another referendum on whether or not to stay a part of the United Kingdom, I think, is just completely wrong."

Mr Bowie then explained that he voted Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum but notes that "if you believe in democracy" the whole UK had to leave the EU.

He also rejected Ms Sturgeon's argument that Scotland was taken out of the Brussels bloc against its will, because the 2016 vote "wasn't an exclusive Scotland referendum".

Mr Bowie continued: "I understand that if Scotland was taken as a separate entity from the rest of the United Kingdom and the Scottish result was looked at exclusively, then Scotland voted to remain in the EU.

"But it wasn’t as an exclusive Scotland referendum, and over a million Scots did vote to leave the EU in that referendum.

"So, to just paint Scotland as being of one opinion on this, I think, is completely wrong."

Mr Bowie concluded by telling Gloria that Ms Sturgeon "needs to get on with the job" and focus on Scotland's fundamental domestic issues, rather than obsessing about its constitutional future.

He said: "What we should be doing now is trying to make Brexit work and actually trying to deal with the fundamental issues that are causing problems in Scotland right now: education, health, transport infrastructure, all the rest of it.

"That’s what I think the First Minister should be talking about and tackling, and not, frankly, a distraction that allows her to talk about something which isn’t pressing on the minds of Scots, and that’s another independence referendum.

"And it’s frankly ridiculous. She needs to get on with the job."