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Sturgeon: Scottish independence is ‘essential’ as UK faces shift to right

14 Jul 2022 3 minute read
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a press conference at Bute House in Edinburgh. Photo Andrew Milligan PA Images

With the Conservative Party currently in the process of electing a successor to Boris Johnson, the Scottish First Minister hit out at the “democratic deficit” facing voters north of the border.

The SNP leader hit out as she launched the second paper in a series from the Scottish Government aimed at making a fresh case for Scotland to leave the UK.

Speaking at her official residence, Bute House in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon insisted: “Offering Scotland the choice of independence, particularly in the context we are in today, is essential.”

As Tory MPs seek to narrow down the candidates vying to be the next party leader and UK prime minister, Ms Sturgeon said that whoever gets the job “the change of Tory leader seems virtually certain to be accompanied by a shift even further to the right”.

This would take Westminster “even further away from the mainstream of Scottish opinion and values”, she added, raising fears of possible cuts to public services and “more posturing over Brexit” in the future.

The First Minister said: “We may be just a few days into this Tory leadership contest but it is already crystal clear the issues Scotland is focused on: tackling child poverty; supporting NHS recovery; building a fairer economy and making a just transition to net zero; will be hindered, not helped, by whoever becomes prime minister in the weeks ahead.”

The Tories have not won an election in Scotland since 1955, but Ms Sturgeon said voters north of the border had “repeatedly” returned a majority of elected representatives who support independence.


However, she complained that this was “treated as immaterial” by Westminster, adding: “You don’t have to be a supporter of independence to know that that is not democracy.”

One of Mr Johnson’s last acts before resigning was to formally refuse the First Minister’s request for Holyrood to be granted the power to have a second independence referendum – a ballot Ms Sturgeon wants to be held on October 19 2023.

The UK Supreme Court is now considering if the Scottish Parliament can stage its own consultative ballot.

Whatever happens to that case, the First Minister insisted that Westminster “must not, and will not, be allowed” to block the “right” of Scots “to have our say on independence”.

If a referendum is denied, Ms Sturgeon has set out plans for the next Westminster election to be a “de-facto” ballot on the issue.

She insisted: “While we hope and plan for a referendum, this should also be clear: if a referendum is blocked by Westminster, we will put the choice to the people of Scotland in the general election.

“Either way Scotland will have a choice.”

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 year ago

Indeed, if we are to escape the horrors of the growing far-right threat in Westminster politics (the coup has failed in the US, that means more money from the shady scum that helped fund the various extremists in the USA will have spare money and time for England especially….remember Tories hate spending their own money), independence for Scotland, Independence for Cymru and reunited Ireland are essential… I would consider it our moral duty to become free of Westminster if for no other reason than the politics is terrifying down there. Europe faces a rise in far-right extremists, from Putin’s atrocities… Read more »

Doctor Trousers
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Agree with your points overall, but I’m not sure that you’re correct in saying that the coup has failed in the US. Theocratic fascists have seized control of the supreme court and rendered progressive democracy more or less impotent.
With democrats in power but unable to deliver, come next election it may be that fear alone, of the republicans, or even trump, getting back in, may not be enough to motivate people to vote to re-elect the democrats.
In that respect, the coup is still well under way and going as planned.

1 year ago

I feel Nicola Sturgeon is correct when she talks of a move further to the right. A look at what some PM candidates have said raises the alarm for me. Mordaunt, neo liberalism with the free market look out NHS. Braverman, 1st speech attacked people claiming benefits, Truss, trumpeting her Thatcherite ideals,to name a fewl, so look out Cymru.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gareth
1 year ago
Reply to  Gareth

Braverman’s just been on PM giving a very good outline of what she’s like. She’s out of the race now.

The original mark
The original mark
1 year ago

Has she only just noticed that Westminster is right wing or is she concerned that Westminster is moving even further to the right, the orders for uniforms and leather jackets have already been sent to Huģo Boss

1 year ago

By framing this as another us vs them, left vs right crusade, I fear that Sturgeon has once again doomed her nation to remaining in the UK. When all you have is framing, when you define your position in purely oppositional terms, when you conduct your movement under the banner of one single political institution, you fail. Guess how we know this? They already failed once doing exactly this. There is an overwhelming sense of fatigue, a yearning for a return to stability, a hunger for meaning and purpose. Let Cymru make our case for ourselves, a positive case for… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 year ago

Even if Labour gets in at the next GE Westminster will remain in the same mind set. It may be as right wing but the attitude towards Cymru, Alba and Northern Ireland will remain the same. Poverty is always worst under Tory power but not much better under a UK Labour government. Independence is the only way we will become more prosperous.

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