Scotland’s First Minister has repeatedly made it clear that she wants a referendum before the end of 2023
The Scottish First Minister is due to launch the first of a new series of documents which she says will form an “updated independence prospectus”.
Nicola Sturgeon is due to unveil the first of the Scottish government’s Building a New Scotland series documents at Bute House in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
And although she said the papers – seen as an update to the independence white paper published ahead of the 2014 referendum – would “outline the challenges facing a newly independent Scotland”, she said. also emphasized that they would also “point the way” to a wealthier, fairer and more resilient nation.
The launch comes after Ms Sturgeon’s SNP won the 2021 Holyrood election on a manifesto which included a pledge to hold another referendum on Scotland’s place in the UK once the Covid crisis subsides.
The SNP failed to win a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament in this election, but voters who also elected a record number of Green MSPs created an independence majority in Holyrood.
Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie will join Ms Sturgeon at Bute House – the Prime Minister’s official residence – for Tuesday’s launch event.
The SNP leader has repeatedly made it clear that she wants a referendum before the end of 2023 – despite fierce opposition from the UK government to holding such a vote.
And although she said ‘having the full powers of independence does not guarantee a better future’ for Scotland, it was ‘striking how’ countries similar to Scotland have been successful compared to the UK.
These nations, she said, “can help pave the way for a wealthier and fairer New Scotland that is more resilient and better placed to help people facing issues such as the cost of living crisis that ‘a British government committed to a hard Brexit whatever the Cost’.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the first document, the Prime Minister added: “The Building a New Scotland series will openly set out the challenges a newly independent Scotland would face, how they might be overcome and the opportunities that come with independence – as evidenced by the success of comparable independent nations as well as our own resources and talents.
Opposition MSPs, however, insisted the Scottish Government should focus more on issues such as the cost of living crisis.
Scottish Conservative Constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said: “Nicola Sturgeon is deliberately ignoring Scotland’s priorities to advance plans for a second independence referendum in 2023.
“The vast majority of Scots do not want to be distracted by another referendum next year. They want the government to be 100% focused on our recovery from the pandemic, the global cost of living crisis, supporting our NHS and protecting jobs.
“Yet Nicola Sturgeon recklessly pursues her obsession anyway. It is simply shameful as the country faces so many major challenges.
Mr Cameron insisted: ‘The distraction and disruption of another bitter referendum debate is the last thing Scotland needs right now.’
Labor constitution spokeswoman Sarah Boyack said while people were ‘struggling to put food on the table during the worst cost of living crisis in a decade’ the SNP and Greens were focusing on “their constitutional obsession”.
Ms Boyack said: “We should be working together to tackle the cost of living crisis now – but instead the SNP-Green government wants to tear us apart.
Nicola Sturgeon told to ‘get down to business’ and move on from ‘incredibly depressing’ independence debate
“It is a terrible waste of time, energy and money while our public services are reduced to nothing.
“Far from making us richer, happier and fairer, the SNP and the Greens are putting our future at risk with plans that would make Brexit look like a walk in the park.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton also criticized the SNP and the Greens, saying: ‘They care more about their obsession with independence than anyone stuck on the longest NHS waiting lists of history, the cost of living crisis or the climate emergency. No one believes that education is Nicola Sturgeon’s top priority anymore.
“The SNP and the Greens take people for granted. Let’s put aside talk of an independence referendum and get to what matters now.