Address to parliament

‘Work has to be done’ to win over independence doubters

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘we demand the right to choose’

Nicola Sturgeon has set out her case for a fresh vote on independence while accepting that “work has to be done” to persuade even members of her own party that it is the best outcome for the country.

Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish parliament that Brexit was a “material change of circumstances” that justified a second poll which she wants to hold next year.

But she accepted that the right to choose the country’s direction is not the same as supporting independence.

However, the onset of Brexit – and possibly a hard Brexit – meant the situation needed to be addressed with “some urgency”, she said.

“I do not assume that an acceptance of Scotland’s right to choose will always equate to support for independence – just as I do not assume that everyone who voted SNP last week is yet ready to vote for independence,” the First Minister told MSPs.

“I recognise the work that those of us who support independence still have to do to persuade a clear majority in Scotland that it is the best way forward for our country. 

“But, nevertheless, it is clear that there is a growing, cross party recognition that election mandates should be honoured, that there has been a material change of circumstances and that the question of independence must be decided by the people and not by politicians.

“Given the nature of what we are facing in terms of UK governance, this is now a matter of some urgency – which is why this government wants people to have a choice next year.”

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