‘Fundamental questions’ about the future of the UK in Wales, Scotland and N Ireland says Sturgeon
The election results have shown that there are “fundamental questions” about the future of the UK across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Scottish First Minister has said.
As Thursday’s local election results were counted yesterday – and into today in Northern Ireland – it suggested an increasing deviation in voting patterns between the nations.
The Conservatives had better than expected results in England, but suffered heavy losses in Wales, while the SNP enjoyed a record win in Scotland, and Irish nationalist Sinn Fein seem set to become the largest party at the Northern Ireland Assembly for the first time.
“There’s no doubt there are big fundamental questions being asked of the UK as a political entity right now,” Nicola Sturgeon said.
“They’re being asked here in Scotland, they’re being asked in Northern Ireland, they’re being asked in Wales and I think we’re going to see some fundamental changes to UK governance in the years to come and I am certain one of those changes is going to be Scottish independence.”
But, regardless of the changes she predicts, the First Minister said all of the nations of the British Isles will continue to co-operate regardless.
“Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland – we already sit around the British Irish Council table, and we will continue to do so, no matter whether Scotland is independent or not,” she said.
“The British Isles is not going away and will continue to co-operate but, for Scotland, co-operating on the basis of equality as an independent country will be much, much better than the situation just now.”
Speaking from Dundee as she celebrated the SNP taking majority control of the city’s council, Ms Sturgeon was asked by PA what she thought motivated voters on Thursday.
“In this election, I think they were voting principally because they want more action on the cost of living crisis and they want to see the Westminster government step up, so it was a strong message on that,” she said.
“The SNP vote share went up, obviously the leading pro-independence party, and after the SNP the next big winners were the Greens -(anoher) pro-independence party. So I think that’s significant and we take a lot of heart from it.”