Sturgeon: ‘independence is in clear sight’
Nicola Sturgeon will rally her supporters (pic: Terry Murden)
Nicola Sturgeon will today tell the SNP faithful that Independence is “in clear sight” and that she has “never been so certain that we will deliver it”.
In an address to the party conference she will say that the country has the talent and potential to build a “resilient economy” that can protect pubic services and build a fairer society.
Ms Sturgeon, who earlier this week said she would like to see another referendum early in the next parliament, will call on supporters “to demonstrate – with cool heads and with patient persuasion – that Scotland is ready to take its place in the global family of independent nations.”
Speaking remotely to a virtual audience, she will say that since the party won a landslide victory in a UK general election, “support for independence has risen to become the sustained and majority view in public opinion this year”.
She will add: “While our primary focus must remain on eliminating COVID-19 from our shores – for which we have renewed hope – Scotland must be ready for what comes next. And I know we will be.
“Our country has so much talent and potential. We can build a resilient economy, with job creation and fairness at its heart. We can protect and invest in public services like our NHS. We can overcome poverty, inequality and we can make our contribution to tackling the climate emergency.
“The question for all of us as we look ahead to the election next May is this: who should be taking the decisions that will shape our futures?
“We know that it is the people who live here, wherever they come from, who can best harness Scotland’s immense human and natural resources to the benefit of everyone.
“So this weekend, and over the next few months, let us reach out – to all of Scotland – like never before.
“Let us demonstrate – with cool heads and with patient persuasion – that Scotland is ready to take its place in the global family of independent nations.
“Scotland is now a nation on the cusp of making history. Independence is in clear sight – and with unity of purpose, humility and hard work I have never been so certain that we will deliver it.
“The people of Scotland have the right to choose their future. Let’s now focus all our efforts on making sure we bring about that better country they and future generations deserve.
“An independent future lies ahead – lets grasp it.”
But her comments drew scathing criticism from opponents.
Anas Sarwar, Labour’s constitution spokesman, said: “This proves that Nicola Sturgeon only has one priority – dividing the people of Scotland.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, when people are losing their jobs and saying goodbye to loved ones, it is insulting that she wants to focus on independence.”
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “What people want is a unity of purpose, humility and hard work from the Scottish Government to get us through the coronavirus crisis.
“This weekend, the SNP is only talking to itself – not to the country. Seeking to divide us with another referendum is the wrong priority, and it is not the priority of the people of Scotland. Rather than trying to tear us apart, the SNP should focus on uniting us.”