SNP manifesto launch 2017

The Scottish National Party has pledged to scrap Britain's nuclear deterrent while 'standing up for Scottish bases, regiments and veterans', as it officially released its manifesto for the upcoming general election.

SNP leader and Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon did not make specific reference to defence in her speech, although the document contains a number of key points relating to the military.

The party has pledged to invest in conventional defences rather than the Trident nuclear programme, while it followed the Labour Party in supporting a new Strategic Defence and Security Review.

SNP Manifesto 2017

The manifesto also declared the SNP would hold the UK Government to its promise on building the Royal Navy's new Type 26 frigates in Scotland while calling for greater transparency in defence spending.

The party, meanwhile, pledged to support an immediate ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia pending an investigation into allegations of Saudi Arabian war crimes in Yemen.

SNP Manifesto 2017

Ms Sturgeon said an SNP victory in Scotland would "further reinforce" the mandate for a second independence referendum, meanwhile.

With the UK due to exit the European Union (EU) in less than two years, Ms Sturgeon said Scotland "must have a choice about our future" between Brexit and independence.

She warned Theresa May that if the SNP wins the most seats in Scotland on June 8 - as the party is almost certain to do - that "continued Tory attempts" to block another referendum would be "democratically unsustainable".

Ms Sturgeon said the party's manifesto sets out a "plan to end Tory cuts", freeing up £118 billion of public money across the UK over the term of the next parliament.

The SNP also gave its support to increasing the top rate of tax across the UK from 45p to 50p, alongside plans to increase the "real living wage" to just over £10 an hour by the end of the next parliament, as part of a "three-point plan to tackle poverty and inequality". She said:

"This election offers people the opportunity to give them democratic legitimacy and make it impossible for the Prime Minister to continue to ignore Scotland's voice."

"So, my message to all voters in Scotland is this: whether you voted Leave or Remain last year, or Yes or No in 2014, vote SNP on June 8 to give me a mandate to demand a place for Scotland at the Brexit negotiating table, so we can work to keep Scotland in the single market."

The First Minister insisted: "Now, more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland at Westminster."

She said a vote for her party next week would "strengthen Scotland's hand against Tory cuts" and also help protect against an "extreme Brexit".

As well as this, she said it would "strengthen Scotland's right to make our own decisions".

The SNP leader told the audience: "The fact is we can't afford a Tory government with a free hand to do whatever it likes.

"We must have strong voices, standing up for our interests and defending the values we hold dear."

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