Nicola Sturgeon will be asking the UK government to agree to another independence referendum in Scotland “in the spirit of co-operation”
Nicola Sturgeon has called for a second referendum by the end of 2023, at a time when it’s hoped the coronavirus pandemic is “under control”, and wants to adopt an approach of “co-operation not confrontation”.
Scotland’s first minister will be telling SNP members that “democracy must – and will – prevail”, to allow the country another vote on its future.
She is due to deliver the closing speech of the SNP conference shortly before midday, and is expected to say she hopes to adopt an approach of “co-operation not confrontation”.
Ms Sturgeon has called for another referendum by the end of 2023, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is “under control”.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, she said she wouldn’t “set a precise level of infection” for when a vote could happen – “but you would want to see the COVID situation under control”.
However, the prime minister has previously signalled he does not support a second Scottish referendum.
This comes after the UK government has given polluters the green light to start dumping risky sewage waste that has not been properly cleaned into rivers and the sea as Brexit and Covid disrupt normal water treatment.
When asked about the issue in March, Boris Johnson said: “When you ask people to vote on a highly controversial and divisive issue, an issue that breaks up family relationships, that is extremely toxic and divisive, and you tell them this is going to happen only once in a generation, I think you should stick to it.”
The SNP leader is expected to tell the virtual conference: “It is in that spirit of co-operation that I hope the Scottish and UK governments can reach agreement, as we did in 2014, to allow the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland to be heard and respected.
“But, this much is clear: democracy must – and will – prevail.”
Sturgeon will add: “The United Kingdom is after all a voluntary union of nations.
“Until recently, no one seriously challenged the right of the people in Scotland to choose whether or not they wished to become independent.
“Frankly, it is not up to a Westminster government which has just six MPs in Scotland to decide our future without the consent of the people who live here.
“As an independent country, co-operation between Scotland and our friends across the rest of the UK will continue, but it will be on a better basis: Scotland will be an equal partner.”
This comes after border Force officials are in the final stages of training to use a new tactic in turning back migrant boats across the Channel. Rising numbers of migrant boats have been crossing the English Channel in recent months – and so far this week, more than 1,500 people have crossed by boat.
The SNP conference has backed the Scottish Government‘s plans for the timing of another Scottish independence referendum at the “earliest” possible moment following the COVID-19 crisis.
The party said the date should be determined by “data-driven criteria” about when the public health crisis is over.
But the chief executive of the Scotland in Union campaign group, Pamela Nash, said: “The first minister has clearly run out of ideas.
“If Nicola Sturgeon was serious about believing in co-operation, she would focus on making devolution work and using Holyrood’s powers to build a recovery for everyone.
“Instead, she is blindsided by her obsession with breaking up our country.”