‘Independence is within our grasp’ says Scotland First Minister
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‘Independence is within our grasp’ says Scotland First Minister

Credit: Belga

Scotland’s independence is “within our grasp,” Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed on Saturday. 

She was speaking to thousands of protesters (estimates say around 20,000) that had assembled in Glasgow on Saturday to demand a new referendum on Scottish independence. 

“The legislative elections on the 12th of December are the most important in recent history for Scotland. The future of our country is at stake,” the SNP (Scottish National Party, separatists) leader told the protesters, who were carrying blue and white Scottish flags. 

She said an independent Scotland “is within our grasp.” She called on voters to take action by voting for her party in the upcoming election. 

Sturgeon wants to hold another independence referendum in 2020, because the situation on Brexit. 55% of Scottish voters said “no” to leaving the UK during a previous referendum in 2014. 

This new referendum “must take place next year and we are preparing for it,” she said at the SNP conference in Aberdeen last month. She wants to get the go ahead for a new referendum from the Bristish government by Christmas. 

Downing Street has opposed a new referendum, saying the Scottish people were already consulted five years ago and it was “a unique, once per generation event.” 

Sturgeon said Brexit has happened since, so things have changed. 

One of the arguments for keeping Scotland in the UK in 2014 was that if it became independent, it would lose all the advantages of being part of the EU. Two years later, during the Brexit referendum in June 2016, 62% of Scottish people voted to keep the UK in the EU. 

Sturgeon is rallying her troops for the upcoming legislative elections. 

The pro-independence rally on Saturday is the first one she has attended since the referendum campaign in 2014. She hopes that if Labour, the main opposition party in the UK, wins the next election, the new Prime Minister will support her call for a second referendum. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said a new Scottish referendum was “neither necessary nor desirable.”  

Sarah Johansson
The Brussels Times