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Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland is ‘more ready than ever to become independent’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Nicola Sturgeon has revealed a new independence prospectus will be published soon and insisted Scotland is “more ready than ever” to become independent.

The first minister claimed she is “committed” to pushing for a referendum and believes now is the perfect time to debate the question.

The SNP leader wants to hold a second vote on independence by the end of 2023.

But despite confirming plans to outline a new detailed plan, the first minister failed to confirm when next year she wants a ballot to be held.

The Tories have continually said they will refuse to grant permission for a referendum despite the SNP’s election success last year.

Boris Johnson is refusing to grant permission for a second referendum.
Boris Johnson is refusing to grant permission for a second referendum.

Unionist parties say Ms Sturgeon’s government should instead focus on a Covid recovery and improving the economy.

However, Ms Sturgeon warned “there is no status quo” and insisted it is crucial for Scots to “have as much control over our own lives as possible”.

Writing in The National, she said: “We really should be optimistic about Scotland’s future. We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

‘Raising Scotland’s ambition’

“With this new independence discussion, we will be raising Scotland’s ambition.

“Too often, political debate in Scotland seems dominated by how we mitigate the damage inflicted upon us by Westminster.”

Ms Sturgeon also claimed Scotland can “play a positive role on the global stage”.

It comes after she insisted again that her party would back Nato membership if the country votes to leave the UK.

Last week the SNP chief said the ongoing Ukraine war made the push for independence “more important”.

‘No limits on our ambition’

Ms Sturgeon added: “With the nation-building we have been undertaking in government, Scotland is more ready than ever to transition to independence.

“The need for us to govern ourselves has never been more pressing.

“We should place no limits on our ambition for our future.

“Instead, let us decide – together – what we want that future to look like.”

It comes just days after the first minister tested positive for Covid.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed she was self-isolating and would be working at home until later this week.

The SNP leader said she was experiencing mild symptoms, as party colleagues wished her well.

‘Utterly reckless’

Tory MSP Donald Cameron said: “It’s utterly reckless that Nicola Sturgeon still obsesses with holding a vote to break up the UK despite the war taking place in Ukraine, our post-pandemic recovery and a cost-of-living crisis to focus on.

“She is continuing to ignore the fact that the people of Scotland do not want another independence referendum.”

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