UK’s Truss says no to Scottish referendum, Sunak vows to fine NHS no-shows

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said there would not be another referendum on Scottish independence on her watch if she wins the Conservative Party’s leadership contest to become the UK’s next prime minister.

The Scottish National Party is pushing for a new referendum after losing a 2014 vote, citing the UK’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union as justification. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a “consultative referendum” in October of next year and has asked the UK’s Supreme Court to rule that her regional government can go ahead with the vote without the approval of the UK government.

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“The SNP lost the 2014 referendum and Nicola Sturgeon is now leading a campaign of deception to steamroller the UK and break up the Union,” Truss told the Sunday Telegraph. “But I am completely clear that there will be no second Scottish independence referendum on my watch.”

Her rival for the top job, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, unveiled a new campaign pledge to tackle a backlog in the National Health Service by fining people for not turning up to their doctor’s appointments. Under his plan, patients would be given the benefit of the doubt if they missed one appointment and then fined £10 if they missed another one, he told the Sunday Telegraph.

During his time in Boris Johnson’s cabinet he was frustrated that “the focus of government was far more on spending money on public services,” he said.

As prime minister he’d make reforming public services a condition for new investment, Sunak said.

“I don’t think it’s right to continually invest record sums in public services without getting more reform, more efficiency, more value for money and actually better outputs for the public as a result,” he told the paper.

Members of the Conservative Party who are eligible to vote in the leadership contest will begin receiving their ballots this week with the result to be announced on September 5.

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