SCOTLAND’S economy would be sent “spiralling into chaos” if there was a second independence referendum, Douglas Ross as he launched his manifesto.

The Scottish Tory leader claimed that putting the constitution ahead of the recovery from the Covid pandemic would be the “height of reckless”.

The SNP said the Tory position of trying to block Indyref2 was “utterly undemocratic”.

Mr Ross launched his manifesto with a pledge to “rebuild Scotland” as it emerges from lockdown, including a £600m fund to help clear the NHS treatment backlog.

The Tories said the one-off boost should be managed by an independent task force of clinicians rather than government, prioritising cases by need, and would be on top of the extra £2bn they have already pledged for the NHS over the course of the next parliament.

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Mr Ross also set out plans for 15 Bills during the next five-year Parliament.

He said: "This is a Scottish Conservative manifesto that, at its heart, secures and accelerates our recovery from coronavirus.

“A manifesto that uses the strong foundations of the United Kingdom to rebuild Scotland.

“It celebrates that we are Better Together, as the furlough scheme has proven by protecting a million Scottish jobs and the vaccine scheme is showing by putting life-changing jags in the arms of more than 2.6 million Scots.

“Our fully-costed manifesto would rebuild Scotland by restoring local services and bringing power back to communities from the SNP Government.

“We have a detailed blueprint to kick-start and rebuild Scotland’s economy, with an aim to end unemployment, create the jobs of the future, and back businesses to innovate and expand.

“But we cannot rebuild Scotland if we are crippled by the threat of an independence referendum.

“Nicola Sturgeon has promised that she will hold that referendum during the first half of the next Parliament.

“That is the height of recklessness. It would derail Scotland’s recovery and send our economy spiralling into chaos, just when we need stability most.

“If pro-UK voters come together and unite to use their party list votes for the Scottish Conservatives, we will stop an SNP majority, stop them taking their eye off the ball any longer, and deliver a Scottish Parliament 100% focussed on Covid recovery and rebuilding Scotland.”

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Ms Sturgeon last week said she wanted to hold Indyref2 by the end of 2023, Covid permitting.

Boris Johnson has already refused one request to give Holyrood the required referendum powers, saying the No vote of 2014 should stand for another 40 years.

SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown said it was clear Mr Ross  and his party had “no route through the pandemic, no vision for recovery, no ambition, no intention of setting out a detailed plan on how they would run Scotland and offer no leadership”.

He said: "That is irresponsible and disrespectful to voters, who deserve better from the Tories than a long list of things they are against and virtually nothing about what they are for.

“That lack of clarity betrays the weakness of their position, and their panicked obsession with the SNP shows they are running scared of the verdict of the people of Scotland in this election. They know that their behaviour is anti-democratic and that it will not hold.

“People in Scotland must have a right to choose their own future, and no single party or politician has the right to dictate what that future should be.

“If there is a mandate for a referendum at this election then Boris Johnson has no democratic or moral authority to try and block it.”

The Tory manifesto also promises:

- a £500 Retrain to Rebuild grant to kick-start a skills revolution, Job Security Councils to help people reskill and change careers, and Rapid Retraining Courses tailored at delivering more employment opportunities.

- an Enterprise Bill within the first 100 days of the new Parliament to establish an economic development agency in every region, creating a Scottish Exporting Institute, and a ‘Scotland First’ approach to public procurement.

- rolling out full fibre broadband all over Scotland by 2027, reversing the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, and a Uniting Scotland plan to improve roads all over Scotland.

- a Communities Bill to introduce a ‘Barnett formula for councils’ and properly fund local services, £550 million of Community Investment Deals to drive local growth, and a change to planning laws to give local areas the final say over major developments.

- the biggest social housebuilding drive since devolution, free school breakfast and lunches, eradicating rough sleeping by 2026 with a Housing First programme, and a new top-up benefit for veterans households in receipt of Universal Credit.

- a Nature Bill, a Circular Economy Bill including a Centre of Excellence, an electric vehicle action plan, £2.5 billion to improve energy efficiency in homes, and a target to plant 18,000 hectares of trees annually.

- 3000 more teachers to restore local schools, a national tutoring programme to tackle the attainment gap, and a dedicated STEM teacher in every primary school.

- a Local Policing Act to put more bobbies on the beat, abolishing the not proven verdict, and a Victims Law to end soft-touch justice.