New Independence Referendum Campaign for Scotland

New Independence Referendum Campaign for Scotland
New Independence Referendum Campaign for Scotland

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled her new plan to hold a referendum on independence, comparing Scotland with other European countries and laying out her case that Scotland would be fairer, wealthier and happier apart from the UK.

"After everything that has happened, Brexit, Covid, Boris Johnson, it is time to set out a different and better vision," Sturgeon told journalists at Bute House, her official residence in Edinburgh, Euronews reported Tuesday.

"Do we stay tied to a UK economic model that consigns us to relatively poor economic and social outcomes that are likely to get worse not better outside the European Union? Or do we instead lift our eyes with hope and optimism and take inspiration from comparable countries across Europe?" the first minister asked.

In a social media campaign that rolled out after the speech, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Ireland are among the countries cited as examples of European nations that had weathered similar issues as Scotland during the Covid pandemic, but emerged with a more positive economic outlook. 

Nicola Sturgeon stressed that a new independence referendum, which she has promised to deliver before the end of 2023, would have to be lawful and says if Boris Johnson's government refuses to grant a Section 30 order -- which gives the Scottish government temporary powers to hold a referendum -- then she would set out her own path to the referendum based on legal advice "if that is what is required" although did not give any concrete details of what that might look like.

The first minister used the opportunity to criticize Boris Johnson's "democracy-denying UK government" for not granting the Section 30 order, referencing Monday's proposal by his government to unilaterally alter parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the Brexit agreement.

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