Scotland’s chief minister, Nicola Sturgeon, intensified today her demand for an independence referendum to be held this year, as a result of Scotland’s opposition to Brexit, despite noting, only a few days ago, the firm refusal of the British Government .
In a speech delivered in Edinburgh coinciding with the day of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), the nationalist leader said that “it is possible” that Scotland holds a referendum this year, for which its executive has already set to work.
He announced that he will ask the Electoral Commission to pronounce on whether it would be appropriate to use the same question of 2014 (“Should Scotland be an independent country?), When 55% rejected the separation.
In addition, in the coming months the Scottish Government will publish a series of documents that, according to Sturgeon, will contain “the information and answers” that people need to make a decision on independence, as well as their formation, the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP ) double the investment dedicated to campaigning for separation.
At the end of the year, the Scottish Parliament passed the referendum law that would allow it to organize a consultation, but all this can be left in nothing if the government of the conservative Boris Johnson maintains its refusal to transfer the powers that would put a legal referendum in the hands of the regional chamber
Sturgeon was convinced that this refusal cannot be sustained indefinitely and said that if a consultation is not achieved this year, it will be done after the autonomous elections of May 2021.
On that basis, he urged the independence movement to “win the political argument” based on convincing the undecided, especially those who in 2014 voted “no” and now lament Brexit, since the polls place them as they could decant the balance in favor of secession.
He reiterated that his strategy continues to be to negotiate with London a “legal and binding” referendum that is “beyond any legal challenge”, because, only in that way would it achieve the “international recognition” necessary to become its own state.
Due to the comparisons that are sometimes made with the Catalan independence movement, the Scottish leader made it clear that she does not intend to use the unilateral way, of which she said that “it does not lead to independence.”
“I have ruled out an illegal referendum, if someone wants that from me they will not get it. Catalonia is the proof that if the process does not have legitimacy and legality it cannot lead to independence,” he said.
For the first time, he left the door open to study the possibility that the Scottish Parliament could convene a “consultative referendum”, which would have no legal value, so he assured that it is not his priority, since he could “back off” the movement .
“My position at this stage is that we must use our energies differently. We must focus on building and winning the political argument for independence,” he said.
Sturgeon recalled that last Wednesday, the Scottish Parliament passed a motion urging the British Government to allow a second referendum to be convened, recognizing that there has been “a material change in circumstances since 2014”.
In front of those who, like Johnson, defend that the consultation of six years ago settled the matter for “at least a generation”, the main minister defended that people “have the right to change their mind when circumstances change” and the exit of Community club is a scenario that will upset the life and economy of the Scots.
According to a YouGov survey published yesterday, support for independence has increased and for the first time since 2015 it is the majority reaching 51%, compared to the 49% that opposes it.
The reason for this change would be the number of citizens who support permanence in the EU and who would have changed their minds about 2014 when considering independence as the only way to be able to join the community club again.
However, according to the survey, 56% disagree with the convening of a new referendum this year, the option defended by Sturgeon, and which only has 34% support.