Scottish independence: Why neither Yes nor No supporters will be happy with a 'stay tuned' approach from Nicola Sturgeon

Does looking at graphs and promises of a better Scotland change anyone’s mind on independence without solid assurances for the future?

The first paper may make people new to the debate aware of certain arguments from the Yes camp, but those who are all too aware of those debates could be experiencing Groundhog Day.

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The paper outlines countries of ‘a similar size’ – particularly the Nordics – are achieving better outcomes than Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at a news conference on a proposed second referendum on Scottish independence, at Bute House. (Photo by Russell Cheyne - Pool/Getty Images)

For example, it points to these countries having lower income inequality than the UK, with Iceland, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Austria and Sweden among the ten most equal nations.

Ms Sturgeon spoke with the Prime Minister on Tuesday morning on seeking a section 30 order – allowing for Holyrood to call for a referendum – but Mr Johnson has said now is “not the time”.

If necessary, Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government will "forge a way forwards" without a section 30.

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Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon promises 'significant update' to Parliame...

The First Minister said she would give a "significant update" to Scottish Parliament "very soon", but the significance of this re mains doubtful given the PM’s stance.

With a pledge to hold another independence referendum by the end of 2023, further promises of the near future may not be good enough for all sides of the debate.

For independence supporters who may have been pushing for a chance of freedom from the grasp of Westminster long before a referendum in 2014, you would not blame them for looking at this document and thinking, ‘what’s new?’.

Ms Sturgeon still does not have undisputed power to hold a referendum on Scotland's constitutional future and people want answers as to how to overcome this.

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The point of these papers, to my understanding, is to maintain the relevance of the question of independence, particularly for young and new Scots who are perhaps joining in on the debate for the first time. Ms Sturgeon was keen to stress the paper is about “substance” as she said “it is time to talk about independence”.

In this way, the paper is helpful and informative. But in many ways it will be infuriating for those who have waited so long for answers.



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