Nicola Sturgeon: Independence could offer maximum control over Scottish destiny post-Brexit
Independence could offer Scotland “maximum control” over its own destiny after Brexit, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has declared.
The SNP leader said breaking away from the UK could also bring the greatest “certainty” and “stability” to Scotland’s future.
Ms Sturgeon has previously said the UK’s vote to leave the European Union made a second independence referendum “highly likely” – since Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the bloc.
Today Ms Sturgeon argued pulling Scotland out of the EU against its will was “tantamount to saying our voices don’t matter”, and said independence must be on the table amid an uncertain outlook.
She added: “The UK we voted to stay part of in 2014, a UK within the EU, is fundamentally changing.
“The outlook for the UK is uncertainty, upheaval and unpredictability.
“In these circumstances it may well be that the option that offers us greatest certainty, stability and the maximum control over our own destiny is that of independence.”
She insisted she was “open” to protecting Scotland’s post-Brexit interests whilst remaining in the UK, but said it was a “statement of the obvious” that independence must be an option otherwise.
In a speech to the IPPR in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon outlined her five post-Brexit demands, including the protection of Scotland’s democratic and economic interests.
Retaining its social protections, such as workers’ rights, its solidarity with other nations, including over security controls, and having influence in the world and over rule changes were also on her list.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is "willing to listen to options" regarding Scotland's future relationship with the EU.
'RACISM AND INTOLERANCE'
Elsewhere in her speech, Ms Sturgeon hit out at Westminster politicians, and in particular the Leave campaign, for their lack of pre-referendum planning as to how to deal with Brexit.
“The absence of any leadership and the lack of any advance planning both from the politicians who proposed the referendum and from those who campaigned a leave vote surely must count as one of the most shameful abdications of responsibility in modern political history,” she argued.
She added that she felt “contempt for a Leave campaign that had lied and given succour to the racism and intolerance of the far right”.