Ac­tivists in drive to break up the UK

The Herald - - NEWS -

ABOUT 800 ac­tivists are ex­pected to con­verge on Glasgow to­day for the launch of a sell-out grass­roots drive for Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence.

The Scot­tish In­de­pen­dence Con­ven­tion, which is be­ing chaired by the ac­tor Elaine C Smith, is billed as “a con­fer­ence to pre­pare for the next in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum”.

De­spite Ni­cola Stur­geon of­fer­ing to park a se­cond ref­er­en­dum to se­cure a soft Brexit deal for Scot­land, the first speaker will be the SNP Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary An­gela Con­stance.

Also speak­ing are SNP MP Tommy Shep­pard and for­mer SNP en­ter­prise min­is­ter Jim Mather, a mem­ber of the SNP com­mis­sion re­view­ing the eco­nom­ics of in­de­pen­dence.

Scot­tish Green co-con­ven­ers Pa­trick Harvie MSP and Mag­gie Chap­man will also ad­dress the event along­side Rad­i­cal In­de­pen­dence founder Jonathon Shafi, and Robin McAlpine, cre­ator of the Com­mon Weal think-tank which aims to in­flu­ence SNP pol­icy.

The gath­er­ing re­flects im­pa­tience in parts of the Yes move­ment that the SNP has not yet up­dated its case for in­de­pen­dence since the 2013 White Pa­per, which failed to con­vince vot­ers on the eco­nomic or cur­rency im­pli­ca­tions of leav­ing the UK.

Mr Harvie, who this week pre­dicted a ref­er­en­dum as early as spring 2018 if Theresa May re­jects a be­spoke Scot­tish Brexit deal, ad­mit­ted the Yes side had lost the sup­port of some of the 45 per cent who backed it be­fore, and it was time to start ac­tively cam­paign­ing again.

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