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Scotland’s chief goals for independence referendum push in 2023

Scotland’s chief goals for independence referendum push in 2023

LONDON (AP) — Scotland’s chief mentioned Monday that she’s going to renew her push for independence from the UK subsequent yr, with the goal of holding a referendum on secession in 2023.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon mentioned the independence marketing campaign, stalled by the pandemic, “will resume in earnest” in spring 2022, “COVID allowing.”

“In the midst of subsequent yr, I’ll provoke the method essential to allow a referendum earlier than the top of 2023,” Sturgeon informed a convention of her Scottish Nationwide Social gathering. “And simply as importantly, our celebration will set out afresh the optimistic case for independence.”

Scottish voters opted to stay a part of the UK by a margin of 55 p.c to 45 p.c in a 2014 referendum that was billed as a once-in-a-generation alternative. However the SNP, which heads the Edinburgh-based Scottish authorities, argues that Britain’s departure from the European Union final yr has radically modified the political and financial panorama.

In a 2016 referendum, 52 p.c of U.Okay. voters backed leaving the EU, however 62 p.c of Scots voted to stay, and Sturgeon argues that Scotland has been dragged out of the 27-nation bloc towards its will.

Sturgeon faces a giant impediment to a brand new independence vote: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose authorities should comply with a binding referendum. Johnson is adamant he gained’t consent, that means any push for a brand new referendum might find yourself within the courts.

Sturgeon says the truth that voters in Might elected an independence-supporting majority to the Scottish parliament — the place the SNP governs with assist from the pro-independence Inexperienced Social gathering — makes an inarguable ethical case for a brand new referendum.

However she acknowledges that independence supporters should make a brand new financial argument for breaking away from the U.Okay. In 2014, the SNP touted Scotland’s North Sea oil wealth as a bulwark of future prosperity. The Scottish authorities now accepts that fossil fuels should be phased out to combat local weather change, probably leaving a giant gap in Scotland’s funds, already battered by the pandemic.

Sturgeon informed celebration members that her authorities would “be candid concerning the challenges the transition to independence will current, and set out clearly how we will and can overcome them.”

“After which, mates, we’ll ask the folks to determine,” she mentioned.

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