Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in Parliament today that there will be a second independence referendum to be held on Thursday, October 19th, 2023.
Nicola Sturgeon said the referendum has already been referred to the Supreme Court, by the Lord Advocate. She hopes it will be allowed, without a section 30 order from the UK government, but said
“If it does transpire that there is no lawful way for this Parliament to give the people of Scotland the choice of independence in a referendum and if the UK Government continues to deny a section 30 order, my party will fight the next general election on this single question, ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?””
Here are some key points from the speech.
1 “We say ‘Yes’ and we are the people”
There was a long struggle to establish a Scottish Parliament. Those who strived for it were committed to the right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.
The Scottish Constitutional Convention laid the groundwork for devolution. It asked: “What if that other voice we all know so well responds by saying: ‘we say No and we are the state?”
Nicola Sturgeon quoted Canon Kenyon Wright’s “simple and powerful” response – “Well we say yes and we are the people”.
2 Inspired – and informed – by the example of other independent countries
Scotland should be inspired when it looks at the performance of independent countries across Europe that are comparable to it. They are doing much better on a range of metrics. This demonstrates that Scotland over generations has paid a price for not being independent.
Westminster governments Scotland didn’t elect have imposed policies Scotland didn’t support, holding Scotland back from fulfilling its potential.
3 The Conservatives have only 10% of Scotland’s MPs – yet they ripped us out of the EU
Despite having only 6 Scottish MPs, the Conservatives have been able to rip Scotland out of the EU. Businesses and public services are struggling for staff because freedom of movement has ended, and young Scots have been deprived of opportunities.
The Conservatives have created the worst cost of living crisis in the G7 and the second-lowest growth in the G20. They are also demonising workers, stoking industrial strife and provoking a trade war.
4 The Scottish Government doesn’t have the levers it needs
Many look to the Scottish government for leadership. But it doesn’t have the levers it needs to shape Scotland’s economy and grow the country’s wealth
Mitigating damage is not enough – the Scottish government can’t prevent its budget being cut. It can’t stop the UK government pushing thousands of children deeper into poverty with the stroke of a pen. It can’t protect human rights or prevent anti-trade union legislation being enacted
5 Now is the time to build a fairer, green, wealthier Scotland
Independence will allow Scotland to chart her own course, to build a fairer, greener, wealthier country. It will allow Scotland to be guided by values and interests that are shared by more of its people.
Now is the time to get Scotland on the right path, the path chosen by those who live here. An independent Scotland can be outward-looking and internationalist.
6 “Scottish democracy can’t be allowed to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any other Prime Minister”
The UK Government is refusing to respect Scottish democracy. The Scottish Parliament has a clear mandate for a new independence referendum. But the legality is contested by those opposed to independence. The Lord Advocate has already set the wheels in motion for the Supreme Court to decide if the referendum will be legal. If not, it won’t happen.
“If the referendum is disallowed it will end any
idea that the union is a voluntary union of equals.”
7 Believe in Scotland
Let’s make a positive case for independence. Let the opposition make the case for continued Westminster rule and then let the people decide.
Independence means trusting the talents and ingenuity of people who live here. Scotland has unrivaled energy, extraordinary natural heritage, a strong basis in the industries of the future, brilliant universities and colleges, a highly skilled and creative population. Many independent countries don’t have the resources Scotland is blessed with. It’s time to believe in Scotland!