Nicola Sturgeon today issued a rallying call to SNP activists to take the case for independence into “every home workplace and community” across Scotland - as she pledged there will be a second referendum on Scotland leaving the UK.
She said the SNP’s goal of Scottish independence is “clearly in sight”, Nicola Sturgeon has told party members. But Ms Sturgeon urged “patience and pragmatism” among supporters amid growing pressure on the SNP leadership for a second referendum.
The First Minister was delivering the keynote speech to the SNP conference in Glasgow today and warned the Tories and Labour that they “will not deny Scotland’s right to choose.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out the prospect of a second referendum on independence, with Westminster controlling the constitution. But Ms Sturgeon has pledged to stage a second vote on leaving the UK amid growing fears over the impact of Brexit.
Senior Nationalists have even suggested it could happen without a so-called Section 30 which confers approval from Westminster.
“We have Tory and Labour politicians queuing up to tell us that the decision about Scotland’s future belongs, not to the people, but to Westminster,” Ms Sturgeon said today.
“That they will decide if and when we can choose to be independent. Well, let us send this message today.
“You can oppose independence - that is your democratic right.
“But you cannot - and you will not - deny Scotland’s right to choose.”
Tens of thousands of Nationalists marched through the heart of Edinburgh at the weekend demanding a second referendum to offset the expected economic calamity of Brexit on Scotland. But Ms Sturgeon today stopped short of unveiling the detail of plans for a second vote on independence, insisting she must be clear about the final terms of EU departure which remain unclear.
“The future relationship between the UK and the EU will determine the context in which Scotland would become independent,” Ms Sturgeon added.
“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.”
The march through Edinburgh at the weekend, “gladdened my heart” the First Minister added.
“Our job is to take that passion and blend it with pragmatism, perseverance and patience to persuade those not yet persuaded,” she said.
“If we do that, then believe me - the momentum for independence will be unstoppable.”
She added: “So that when the time comes - and it will - the choice facing the Scottish people will be this.
“The ever tightening grip of Westminster control - or a hopeful, outward looking independent country.”