Stur­geon ral­lies troops for new in­de­pen­dence push

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY STE­WART PATER­SON Po­lit­i­cal Cor­re­spon­dent

NI­COLA Stur­geon sent her party away from its con­fer­ence with a mes­sage that it can and will per­suade a ma­jor­ity of Scots to vote for in­de­pen­dence.

In her clos­ing speech she said the goal was within their grasp

The First Min­is­ter set up her sup­port­ers for a pos­si­ble an­nounce­ment later in the year af­ter the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions had reached a cli­max.

She said that over the sum­mer the Growth Com­mis­sion re­port would be de­bated and it would form the ba­sis of a re­newed bid to per­suade Scots to back in­de­pen­dence.

She said the party was wait­ing for the “fog” of Brexit to clear.

Ms Stur­geon said: “The case for in­de­pen­dence is strong.

“And it is get­ting stronger by the day.”

As some in­de­pen­dence sup­port­ers clam­our for an­other ref­er­en­dum in the au­tumn of this year and tens of thou­sands march on streets across Scot­land Ms Stur­geon urged pa­tience.

She said: “So as we wait for the fog of Brexit to clear, our op­por­tu­nity – in­deed, our re­spon­si­bil­ity – is this.

“Not just to fo­cus on the ‘when’ of in­de­pen­dence. But to use our en­ergy and pas­sion to per­suade those who still ask ‘why?’

“Right now, that is the more im­por­tant task. And, if we do that, let me tell you this.

“I am more cer­tain than ever be­fore that per­suad­ing a ma­jor­ity of our fel­low cit­i­zens that Scot­land should be an in­de­pen­dent coun­try is well within our grasp.”

Later in a TV in­ter­view, on the BBC she said: “Let’s stop ob­sess­ing all the time about when we might get the chance to vote on in­de­pen­dence again.

“In­stead, let’s en­gage peo­ple in the sub­stan­tive ar­gu­ments. Let’s ad­dress peo­ple who still ask the ques­tion why should Scot­land be in­de­pen­dent.”

In the speech she also took a swipe at the Tories at West­min­ster and at Holy­rood.

She said Ruth David­son was show­ing “new lev­els of hypocrisy” over the UK want­ing to take pow­ers from Holy­rood af­ter Brexit.

She slammed Theresa May’s Gov­ern­ment which she said was a “sham­bles”. and branded Boris John­son as an “em­bar­rass­ing li­a­bil­ity”

She said: “Now we have a Foreign Sec­re­tary who says the coun­try is head­ing for melt­down – but don’t panic, it’ll all be worth it.

“Even among the Tories, there can rarely have been an in­di­vid­ual so un­fit for high of­fice as Boris John­son.”

Ni­cola Stur­geon at the SNP con­fer­ence in Aberdeen

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