Nicola Sturgeon to publish second paper in Scottish independence prospectus
Nicola Sturgeon is to publish the second paper in her prospectus for Scottish independence.
The Scottish First Minister will on Thursday set out the next part of her “detailed prospectus” with a paper titled Renewing Democracy Through Independence.
The first of these reports was described as a “scene setter” document, and it was revealed at Bute House in Edinburgh last month.
The Scottish Government paper highlighted economic areas where the UK is outperformed by a group of other European countries.
Since then, Ms Sturgeon has said she wants a second independence referendum to take place on October 19, 2023, though the Supreme Court has been asked to rule on the legality of the Scottish Government’s plans.
If it rules against the First Minister, she says she will consider the next general election to be a “de facto referendum”.
Ms Sturgeon is expected to say: “This discussion could not be more timely or urgent – the democratic deficit Scotland faces is not a recent phenomenon, but the evidence of it now is starker than ever.
“A Prime Minister with no democratic endorsement from Scotland is about to be replaced by yet another Prime Minister that Scotland hasn’t voted for – and wouldn’t vote for even if we were given the chance.
“All Scotland ever hears from UK politicians these days is democracy denial. They trade opinions on how many years it should be before Westminster might ‘allow’ us to make a democratic choice about our own future.
“The fact that the Scottish people have repeatedly elected a majority in the Scottish Parliament committed to an independence referendum is treated as immaterial.
“You don’t have to be a supporter of independence to know that’s not democracy.
“That attitude is not surprising from Tories – but these days, where the Tories go, Labour seem obliged to follow.
“Just as in 2014, they are teaming up with the Tories to frustrate the will of the Scottish people.
“Labour’s positions are nothing to do with the interests, let alone the democratic wishes, of people in Scotland.
“They are just cynical political calculations, based on the deeply misguided belief that the way back to power is to adopt wholesale the policies of the Tory Government they claim to oppose.
“What Scotland is hearing and seeing, on a daily basis, from Westminster parties encapsulates the democratic deficit that we face as part of the UK.”
She will say that only independence offers a “real and permanent alternative” to Tory Government.
However, the Conservatives accused the First Minister of “stubbornly ignoring the real priorities of people across Scotland and instead talking about her usual obsession” of independence.
Donald Cameron, the party’s constitution spokesman at Holyrood, said: “In the week that Scotland’s NHS recorded the worst A&E waiting times on record, people will be outraged to see Nicola Sturgeon continuing to campaign for an independence referendum next year.
“This SNP Government are once again focused on the wrong priority at the worst possible time.”
He insisted: “The vast majority of Scots don’t want a divisive second referendum next year, yet it seems that the SNP are only too happy to ignore democracy when it doesn’t go their way.”
Scottish Labour’s constitution spokesperson Sarah Boyack also hit out, saying: “When people across Scotland are crying out for help with the cost-of-living crisis, precious government time and energy is being poured into the SNP’s endless attempts to whip up division.”
Ms Boyack added: “The last paper was nothing but fantasy economics and baseless promises of jam tomorrow, without a shred of clarity on the unanswered questions plaguing the SNP’s reckless plans or any attempt to use the powers they have now.”
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