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06 August 2019
There is a 'growing sense of urgency' for independence, Sturgeon says

Image credit: Parliament TV

There is a 'growing sense of urgency' for independence, Sturgeon says

Nicola Sturgeon has said that there is a “growing sense of urgency” for Scotland to become an independent country so as to avoid being “dragged down a political path” with Brexit.

Speaking during an event at the Edinburgh Fringe with the broadcaster Iain Dale on Monday, Sturgeon said that she believes the direction UK politics has taken has convinced more people that Scottish independence should happen “sooner rather than later.”

The First Minister also said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson lacked democratic legitimacy and urged him to call a general election.

Sturgeon made the comments following a poll published in Holyrood showing a majority of Scots would now vote in favour of independence and would like to see a referendum held by 2021.

She said: “I think there is growing support for independence in Scotland and I think that, accompanying that, there is a growing sense of urgency that we don't want to get dragged down a sort of political path that we do want to go down”.

"Anecdotally, I have been detecting that shift that's shown up in the Ashcroft poll for quite some time now and I think we are now starting to see that manifest itself in the opinion polls.”

Discussing the findings of Lord Ashcroft’s poll, the First Minister said she believed that Brexit was the single most influential factor for the changes in opinion.

Sturgeon said the UK was in “unprecedented circumstances” and accused the new government of pursuing a Brexit strategy that the public had not agreed to.

Asked whether she thought Boris Johnson enjoyed democratic legitimacy she responded: “no.”

She said: “Boris Johnson has come in as prime minister and has completely changed the policy of the UK government as it relates to Brexit, which is the biggest issue facing the country.

“I would say categorically, in my view, in Scotland, there's no mandate for Brexit at all. But UK-wide there's no mandate in my view for a no-deal Brexit.

“So in those circumstances, I think that the democratic legitimacy, not just with him holding the office of prime minister, but of the policy he wants to pursue as prime minister, I do think is questionable.”

Responding to an audience member who asked what her advice to Boris Johnson as a new political leader would be, Sturgeon simply said: “call a general election.”

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