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October 16, 2019

SNP winning the case for independence: Sturgeon

World

P
Pa
October 16, 2019

ABERDEEN: Nicola Sturgeon has declared that the SNP is “winning the case for independence” as she revealed more detail about plans for Scotland to have a second vote on leaving the UK.

The First Minister said work was being done to update the “independence prospectus”. And she confirmed that before the end of this year she would formally request the power for Holyrood to stage a referendum from Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A section 30 order — which the UK government has so far refused to consider — would mean a legally binding ballot could be held.

The SNP leader used the speech to her party’s conference to announce new policies, pledging more childcare for youngsters from poorer areas, as well as further help for victims of domestic abuse and the scrapping of social care charges for those who receive assistance to live in their own homes. That policy, which would be introduced if the SNP wins the 2021 Scottish elections, could cost £240 million a year.

Meanwhile, providing childcare in the school holidays for primary school pupils from the poorest families - another proposal that would be implemented if Sturgeon is re-elected — could cost some £60 million to £70 million a year.

But with UK politics going through “turbulent times” the bulk of the First Minister’s 45-minute long address to the SNP annual conference in Aberdeen focused on independence. She told activists at the conference: “I don’t know about you but I’m utterly sick of Westminster. I’m sick of Brexit”. She added: “And I’ve had more than enough of people like Jacob Rees-Mogg lording it over us while lounging across the benches of the House of Commons as if he owns the place.”

Instead of that, she declared it was “time to place Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands”. Sturgeon said the Scottish government would have completed its legislative preparations for a future independence vote by the new year.

She added: “We are already working to update the independence prospectus. And I can confirm today that before the end of this year, I will demand the transfer of power that puts the legality of a referendum beyond any doubt.” An independent Scotland could be “a new country founded on hope and a vision of shared humanity and compassion” and a “light in a world that seems dark”, Sturgeon said.

She condemned the politics of both Johnson and US President Donald Trump — branding them both “strongman leaders with inflated egos and an overbearing sense of entitlement”. And while she said “these can seem like dark times”, Sturgeon said that “there is always hope”. She added: “For Scotland, the hope lies in becoming an independent nation.” Sturgeon stated: “Be in no doubt about this. We are winning the case for independence.”

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