Nicola Sturgeon has called for 2017 to be “a year of hope” in which liberal democracy triumphs over “reactionary forces”.
The First Minister warned Brexit and its economic impact have not yet “properly begun”, and said one of her wishes for the new year is that Prime Minister Theresa May grants guaranteed residency status for EU nationals in the UK.
Ms Sturgeon also warned prejudice against foreigners and other forms of intolerance have been helping to fuel movements resisting social or political progress, and said she wants 2017 to be a “turning point” against these views.
Writing in The National, she said: “Every new year begins full of challenges, but the one now looming ahead of us is perhaps the most important in a generation - for Scotland, the UK, Europe and the world as a whole.
“The last 12 months have seen a narrative develop that the established political and social order is under threat as never before in modern times. Reactionary forces, some of them fuelled by intolerance and xenophobia, have been seen to be in the ascendancy.
“But if 2016 was a year of fear, let the next year be one of hope. And let us all hope that, in time, 2017 will be seen to have been a turning point - one in which the values of liberal democracy were able to show that they can and will prevail over the forces which would draw us all backwards.”