Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is an “indisputable mandate” for a second independence referendum, as she launched the first of a series of papers “making the case afresh for Scotland becoming an independent country”, unveiling the first of documents in the Scottish Government’s Building a New Scotland series at Bute House on Tuesday June 14th.
While she said the papers – seen as update of the independence white paper published in the run-up to the 2014 referendum – would “set out openly the challenges a newly independent Scotland would face”, she also stressed they would also “point the way” to a wealthier, fairer and more resilient nation.
The launch comes after Ms Sturgeon’s SNP won the 2021 Holyrood election on a manifesto which included a commitment to hold another referendum on Scotland’s place in the UK once the Covid crisis had abated. The SNP did not win a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament in that election, but voters having also returned a record number of Green MSPs created a pro-independence majority within Holyrood.
Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly made clear she wants a referendum before the end of 2023 – despite fierce opposition from the UK Government to such a vote taking place.
Here’s how to read the first of the papers for yourself.
How to read the Scottish Independence paper
The paper covers the economic and social context of Scottish independence and observations of the United Kingdom model, as well as 10 key facts on the UK’s comparative performance as a nation.
You can read the first of the documents in full via the Scottish Government website here. It is also available in an audio format and in British Sign Language.
Additional reporting by Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor.