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25 September 2016

Downing Street Aide Lifts Lid on Brexit Parlour Games

Tory ministers put personal ambition and political positioning above the interests of the country in their campaign to leave the EU, a former aide to David Cameron has revealed.

Sir Craig Oliver, the director of communications to the former Prime Minister, has said that Theresa May avoided backing David Cameron thirteen times in the run-up to the vote as she positioned herself for a future leadership bid.

Sir Craig’s book outlines how Boris Johnson flip-flopped on whether to back a Leave vote he expected to lose and confessed that “depression is setting in” at the prospect of backing EU withdrawal.

The book also reveals that pro-Leave Michael Gove told George Osborne that Brexit would cause “scarring and burning” to the economy.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“These revelations prove what we already suspected – that the Brexit campaign was an exercise in breath-taking recklessness. Its main protagonists were more concerned with their personal ambitions and cabinet rivalries than about the interests of people, business and the country.

“It is disgraceful that these Downing Street parlour games have led to the prospect of Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our will – although it is now clear why the Tories are utterly clueless about what Brexit actually means.”

22 September 2016

Local MSP Backs Eye Health Week

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has backed Eye Health Week and its role in promoting eye health.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate calling for the recognition of campaigns like Eye Health Week. Stevenson called for the recognition of the good work of those in the sector and for the continuing need to promote eye health as a vital part of overall health.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“Eye Health Week is a great opportunity for us. It’s a chance for us to promote the great work across the sector- the work of eye care charities, organisations and health professionals. It’s important for us to recognise the constructive contribution they make to Scotland’s health.

“At the same time there is room for us to increase awareness. There are still significant numbers of people that don’t know eye examinations are free in Scotland. The Scottish Government put free exams in place to benefit the health of everyone in Scotland. It’s essential that we raise awareness and get people to take advantage of it.

“As someone who has encountered various eye health issues myself- I know personally how important it is to take care of your eyes. Eye health is central to overall health and there are vast social and economic benefits to improving it. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free exams and get in touch with their local eye care professionals.”

Stevenson Welcomes National Loan Scheme to Support Rural Economy

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a new loan scheme which will provide certainty for farmers and crofters over winter 2016 and seek to inject up to £300 million into the rural economy, safeguarding jobs and local agricultural businesses.

Farmers and crofters will be able to apply for a loan of 80% of their CAP Basic Payment and Greening 2016 entitlement, up to a maximum of €150,000 and receive their loan payments in November.

Farmers will not have to wait until 2017 to receive payment of their CAP entitlement. Letters will be issued before the end of the month to farmers inviting them to apply. Everyone who applies by the deadline of 12 October will receive a loan of 80% of their entitlement in November.

Details of the nationally-funded loan scheme for CAP Basic Payment 2016 were unveiled by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity Fergus Ewing.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“Having learned lessons from the 2015 round of CAP payments, the Scottish Government is determined to provide as much certainty as possible – not just for farmers and crofters, but for the wider economy in rural communities like the North-east.

“Over 17,000 businesses across Scotland, including many in the North-east, will be entitled to qualify for this loan initially, with work continuing to make offers and payment to the remaining eligible businesses by the end of the year.

“I would therefore encourage everyone eligible to apply for this funding, which will give our farmers and crofters the security and certainty they need to enable them to plan for the year ahead while driving forward the rural economy.”
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