Every home will be targeted
Sturgeon launches ‘biggest independence campaign’
Nicola Sturgeon: ‘It is time for independence’ (pic: Terry Murden)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she would target every household in the country as part of the “biggest campaign on the economics of independence in our party’s history”.
She told the SNP’ spring conference that legislation paving the way for a second referendum on independence would be published next month and declared that it was time, not only for independence, but for the Tory government in Westminster to go.
In a number of policy statements, she declared a “national climate emergency” and said that the SNP will create a social justice and fairness commission to ensure economic growth in an independent Scotland “can be shared much more fairly”.
She said: “Make no mistake about this: if we can now show what is possible with the economic powers of independence, we will win a referendum.
“I can announce today that we will now launch the biggest campaign on the economics of independence in our party’s history.
“From this summer, we aim to get information on Scotland’s potential into the hands of every voter. Our plan is to distribute An independent Scotland – a household guide to every home across the country – all 2.4m of them.”
Her plan was announced as a poll in a Sunday newspaper found that a No Deal Brexit would be enough to secure an independence win in a referendum. The poll found 47% in support of independence, against 49% in a poll published on Saturday.
The latest poll also found that the SNP has a 19% lead in European voting intentions – with 39% to Labour’s 20%.
Outlining the sectors in which Scotland has excelled, Ms Sturgeon said: “We will show that Scotland has a talented and educated people. As an independent nation we will face challenges, as all independent countries do. And we must be responsible with our finances.
Nicola Sturgeon acknowledging applause after her speech (pic: Terry Murden)
“But few countries on earth can match our resources and our potential. So never let anyone tell you that Scotland doesn’t have what it takes to be a prosperous, independent nation.”
On Europe, she said that at the last summit, the leaders of 27 other countries decided the UK – and Scotland’s – fate.
“Twelve of those countries have populations similar to or smaller than Scotland’s. Very small nations such as Luxembourg and Cyprus. Countries that have long enjoyed independence: Denmark, Finland and Ireland. And others who have regained their independence much more recently.
“All of these nations have come together to share sovereignty for mutual benefit, and on the basis of equality and common values.
“The respect, support and solidarity they receive in return stands in stark contrast to the contemptuous treatment of Scotland by Westminster. That is why it is now time for Scotland to become a truly equal partner in the British Isles.
“It is time to take our place among the family of independent European nations.”
Ms Sturgeon was handed a delegate’s baby as she left the hall (pic: Terry Murden)
She declared a “climate emergency”, following Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s similar pledge, saying she had been inspired after meeting children who had gone on strike from school. Labour is expected to press the UK government to declare a national climate emergency on Wednesday.
Ms Sturgeon confirmed plans to tackle short term holiday letting which is causing concern among neighbourhoods suffering from anti-social behaviour. She said help would be provided in places like Edinburgh and Arran to “get the balance right” between tourists and residents.
A further £150 million will be provided to help people buy own their own home. If buyers can find just 5% of the value of their new house from their own funds, the government “will do the rest”.
Starting later this year and running until the end of this parliament, first-time buyers will receive loans of up to £25,000 to fund or top up their deposit.