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by Louise Wilson
13 June 2022
Nicola Sturgeon to launch fresh bid for independence

Nicola Sturgeon to launch fresh bid for independence

Nicola Sturgeon is set to launch a fresh campaign for indyref2 with the publication of a prospectus for independence on Tuesday.

The First Minister has confirmed her government will tomorrow publish the first of its series of papers on independence, beginning with what she dubbed a “scene-setter”.

It will not include the bill to legislate for the referendum, however.

The Scottish Conservatives have accused the First Minister of "wilfully ignoring Scotland's priorities".

But Sturgeon said the Scottish Government won a mandate to hold the referendum in last year’s Holyrood election.

Speaking to the BBC’s Glenn Campbell, she said: “The first paper will be very much a scene-setter. It will look through a wealth of evidence at the economic and social performance of the UK and Scotland within that, compared to a range of other countries across Europe, and the conclusion very clearly is that Scotland could be doing much better as an independent country. It will offer that prize of independence.”

The First Minister will mark the launch with a press conference alongside Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie in Edinburgh.

The government is expected to publish further papers focusing on key policy areas in the coming months, including on currency, defence and security, and membership of the European Union.

It hopes to be able to hold a referendum by the end of 2023. Sturgeon said more information on that will be forthcoming “in the weeks to come”.

Conservative constitution spokesperson Donald Cameron argued the referendum was "the last thing Scotland needs right now."

He said: "The vast majority of Scottish people don’t want the distraction of another referendum next year. They want the government 100% focused on our recovery from the pandemic, the global cost-of-living crisis, supporting our NHS and protecting jobs."

Scottish Labour's Sarah Boyack said any time spent on indyref2 efforts were an "appalling waste of time, energy and money".

She said: "Far from making us wealthier, 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.Instead of scrambling to patch over the countless glaring holes in their plans, they should be focused on delivering for Scotland now.”

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said the First Minister had "launched more independence campaigns than ferries".

He added: “The SNP and Greens are taking people for granted. Let’s lay aside talk of an independence referendum and get to grips with what matters right now.”

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