You can oppose independence but you cannot deny Scotland’s right to choose, Nicola Sturgeon warns Tories
In her speech at SNP conference Nicola Sturgeon attacked the UK Government for “selfishly driving the UK towards a hard Brexit”
Nicola Sturgeon - Image credit: PA Images
Nicola Sturgeon has used her speech at SNP conference to launch a scathing attack on the UK Government for “selfishly driving the UK towards a hard Brexit just to appease its own ideologues” and warning, in a twist on Winston Churchill that “never has so much been lost by so many to satisfy so few”.
Reiterating her pledge for SNP MPs to back a vote on holding a second EU referendum but stopping short of announcing any more detail on plans for a second vote on Scottish independence, the First Minister described the Leave campaign as "shameful, deceitful and very possibly illegal".
But while the First Minister voiced strong support for the EU, she also sounded a note of caution, saying: “Let’s not kid ourselves, there is no guarantee that another vote won’t deliver the same outcome.”
Speaking in Glasgow, the SNP leader said: “The EU isn’t perfect, but it’s one of the world’s best examples of that principle in action.
“And whatever disagreements there are about whether the UK and Scotland are better off inside or out of the EU, one thing is surely beyond doubt: this UK Government’s handling of these negotiations has been shambolic, chaotic, and utterly incompetent.
“838 days since the Brexit referendum happened. Just 171 days until exit. And yet no one has any idea what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be.
“That is a disgraceful failure of leadership.”
Sturgeon also responded to Theresa May’s stance on holding another independence referendum, after Downing Street dismissed calls for a second vote, telling conference: “You can oppose independence. That is your democratic right.
“But you cannot, and you will not, deny Scotland’s right to choose.”
Discussing the campaign for independence, she said: “The way we make and win our case must also be a stark contrast to a Leave campaign that was shameful, deceitful and very possibly illegal.
“People look at how parties campaign and conduct themselves, and they make judgments about who we are, the values we hold dear and the kind of country we want to build.
“So let us resolve today, in everything we do, to embody the positive, progressive, inclusive change we want to see.”
She added: “We have a duty to answer questions as fully as we can. We owe the people of Scotland no less.
“The future relationship between the UK and the EU will determine the context in which Scotland would become independent.
“And so the detail of that will shape some of the answers that people want.
“But as we wait – impatiently, at times, I know –for this phase of negotiations to conclude and for the fog of Brexit to clear, be in no doubt about this.
“The last two years have shown why Scotland needs to be independent. And I am more confident than ever that Scotland will be independent.”
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