REPORTS from last week show the unemployment rate in the UK is dropping, and in Scotland it is dropping even faster.

Within the past quarter, unemployment in Scotland fell by 15,000. The decrease over the past year is even more substantial, with the unemployment falling by 47,000 against last year’s figures.

This large drop has placed Scotland below the UK average unemployment rate and has huge implications for our country’s future as we head towards a hard Brexit. In a report done by the Fraser of Allander Institute, projections showed that Brexit could cost up to £11 billion a year. This would greatly weaken our country’s job stability.

The Scottish Government is doing what they can to ensure that unemployment continues to fall as they work to support apprenticeships and training, stimulate investments with the Scottish Growth Scheme and tackle the gender pay gap.

Already these efforts show that Scotland’s female employment rates and youth unemployment rates are outperforming the UK. We will do what we can to ensure a secure and prosperous economy for Scotland’s future.

But the closer Brexit draws, the more desperate the Tories become. Ruth Davidson recently refused to condemn the disgusting rape clause put into effect by Westminster.

As Parliament representatives, our decisions should focus on doing what’s right and best for the people and Scotland, and not on looking good to her bosses in Westminster. What woman wants to admit she was raped or forced into conception in order to receive help for a child? My guess is there isn’t one. This proposal is disgraceful, and I hope that given time, Westminster will see the error of its ways.

On a lighter note, Aintree Grand National champion One for Arthur visited Musselburgh over the weekend. It was great to be able to see this horse up close and in person. Best of luck to him in future competitions!