10, December 2019
Secession Palaver: Leader of Scottish National Party shifts to a more radical position on independence 0
With the general election only a few days away, Nicola Sturgeon has thrown down the gauntlet at the entire British political establishment.
The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) is now calling for a fresh poll on Scottish independence regardless of Brexit.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Sturgeon, who is also Scotland’s First Minister, said that the “contemptuous way in which Scotland has been treated” justifies a new independence referendum.
Previously Sturgeon had linked a fresh independence poll to Brexit, on the grounds that the Scottish people – unlike the English – had not voted to leave the European Union (EU).
Sturgeon defended her new position by claiming that Scotland’s “interests, voice and views” had been “ignored” over the past three years.
And to reinforce the urgency of her position, the SNP leader revealed that she will approach the UK government by the end of the year for an agreement to hold a legally binding referendum.
The SNP needs the British government’s agreement to hold a legal referendum whose outcome is guaranteed to be respected and implemented.
In addition the Scottish Parliament – which is dominated by the SNP – also has to pass necessary legislation to create the grounds for a referendum next year.
Sturgeon has repeatedly said that she wants to hold an independence poll in the second half of 2020.
The SNP leader’s new position indicates a hardening of her approach and crucially it points to her bridging the divide with more radical Scottish nationalists who are unaffiliated to the SNP.
The broader Scottish independence movement has been critical of the SNP’s cautious and legalistic approach toward achieving independence.
Now that Sturgeon has shifted toward a more radical position – by effectively setting Scotland apart from the rest of the UK – the Scottish independence movement is likely to pick up additional momentum going forward.