Willie Rennie’s New Year Message: Let’s unite Scotland with a positive liberal message

So what can we look forward in 2016? The Forth Road Bridge’s continued opening (we hope). Scots athletes excelling as part of Team GB at the Rio Olympics. Andy Murray mounting another challenge at Wimbledon.

And the small matter of a Scottish Parliament election that will set the direction of the country for five years.

As ever, at this election voters face a choice.

They can choose five more years of constitutional division and grievances with the SNP who have failed to protect crucial services.

Or the Conservatives, a party who have systematically withdrawn support from the poorest in our society and slashed investment in green energy.

The Labour party could be an option but it has lost its purpose, with MPs who prefer fighting each other instead of challenging the Conservatives.

Or they could choose a party that punches above its weight in Holyrood. The Liberal Democrats have championed the rights of Scots with poor mental health and proposed improvements to tackle the shortage of GPs. We’ve stood up for better police services following the M9 crash, armed police and excessive use of stop and search. Alone we have argued against the reintroduction of primary school league tables. And we have successfully made the case to extend free nursery education.

The Liberal Democrats have a positive vision of a tolerant, open, fair, free, economically vibrant and opportunity rich country.

We want to put the divisions of the referendum behind us, focus on improving lives with better public services and unite Scotland behind that positive liberal vision.

* Willie Rennie MSP is leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats

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