Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to relaunch the campaign for Scottish independence today.
Later today the SNP leader will release a paper contrasting the socioeconomic performance of the UK and the “striking” success of its European neighbours, for the purpose of arguing that Scotland ought to exit the Union.
She told reporters yesterday evening that the ongoing cost-of-living crisis meant it was “exactly the time” to urge another vote, arguing that the ability to tackle it is being hampered by “a UK Government committed to a hard Brexit whatever the cost”.
Sturgeon also suggested that Scotland would vote to leave the UK in 2014 if they knew what political twists, turns and surprises were in store for them in the future.
She stated that additional papers would be examined on currency and public spending.
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Ahead of the 2014 vote, one 670-page paper was published on the party’s independence plans.
In that referendum, 55 percent of Scots voted no to the UK and 45 percent voted yes.
Sturgeon claims she will hold a referendum in Autumn 2023. However, she has not yet indicated when she will bring forward a Referendum Bill. She has also failed to outline how a legal vote could occur without Westminster’s consent.
Survation, Panelbase and Panelbase commissioned surveys earlier in the year that found that less then 3 percent of Scots would support a new vote on the timescale.
Speaking last night Sturgeon suggested that “unlike Boris Johnson”, she “respect[s] the rule of law,” adding: “We know that the competence of the Scottish parliament to legislate without a Section 30 order is contested so that’s what we are navigating. That work is well under way.”
The paper, called Independence in the Modern World will be launched. Sturgeon will be joined by Patrick Harvie (Scottish Greens co-leader), on the stage.
Speaking with BBC Scotland ahead of today’s launch, Sturgeon argued: “Nobody right now can look at the UK, the mess it’s in currently and the prospects for the UK outside of the European Union surely, and conclude anything but that Scotland can do better as an independent country.
“In fact, had we known in 2014 everything we know now about the path the UK would have taken in the years since then, I’ve got no doubt Scotland would have voted yes [to separation] back then.”
Scottish Conservatives shadow constitution secretary, Donald Cameron, criticised the plans arguing: “The vast majority of Scottish people don’t want the distraction of another referendum next year. They want the government to focus 100 percent on recovery from the pandemic and the global cost of living crisis, as well as supporting the NHS and protecting jobs.
“Yet Nicola Sturgeon is recklessly pressing ahead with her obsession anyway. This is nothing short of shameful when the country is facing so many momentous challenges.”
Scottish Labour’s constitution spokesperson Sarah Boyack also took aim at the plans: “We should be working together to tackle the cost-of-living crisis now – but instead the SNP-Green government wants to tear us apart.
“This is an appalling waste of time, energy and money when our public services are being cut to the bone.”