Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Ruth Davidson says Yes vote would sell young Scots short

Ruth Davidson Image copyright PA
Image caption Ruth Davidson argues that voters have a responsibility to future generations

A vote for independence in September's referendum would deny opportunities to young people, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said.

In a speech in Glasgow, Ms Davidson said that remaining in the UK would give young people "greater opportunities, not narrower horizons".

She argued that voters have a "responsibility" to future generations.

The Scottish government said that independence would mean "more and better jobs" for young people.

The Scottish Conservative leader addressed young Scots as part of her party's campaign to keep Scotland in the Union.

"If we vote to leave the UK, we'd be closing off avenues of opportunity for Scotland's young people that have existed for generations," she said.

"We'd be selling young Scots short.

"Our young people are as dynamic and ambitious as their contemporaries in any other corner of the globe.

"They've got what it takes to 'make it' in life - the talent, the drive and the determination to make their mark on the world.

"And it's our responsibility to make sure they get the best possible chance of achieving their full potential."

Ms Davidson claimed that a "No" vote would be "a resounding endorsement to Scotland staying in Britain, to Scotland advancing through partnership and not division, to delivering for the devolution generation, to ensuring future generations of Scots enjoy greater opportunities, not narrower horizons."

A spokesman for Scottish Education Secretary Michael Russell said: "With independence we can make sure Scotland's great wealth delivers far more for people living here.

"That means more and better jobs, financial security and greater opportunities for our young people."

New age voters

He added: "The Tory party have dismantled free higher education south of the border, are gutting the welfare system and privatising the NHS.

"They are systematically destroying the opportunities that generations have built and relied upon in a country that is already one of the most unequal in Europe.

"In the face of this political vandalism, it takes a breathtaking level of duplicity for Ruth Davidson to lecture young people on opportunities."

The referendum will be held on 18 September, when voters will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will be able to vote in the referendum, unlike in local and general elections, when the minimum voting age is 18.