Sturgeon disillusioned as she urged rest of UK to move to Scotland to escape Brexit | UK | News

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On January 1, Britain finally left the European Union. It is a new chapter for the country’s national history, but not everyone in the UK has given up on EU membership. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to hold a second referendum as soon as the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Since 2016, the SNP leader has been trying to build support for independence on the back of Brexit.

In a recent column for the Irish Times, Ms Sturgeon wrote: “We are now faced with a hard Brexit against our will, at the worst possible time in the middle of a pandemic and economic recession.”

She added: “It is therefore not surprising that a consistent majority of people in Scotland now say they are in favour of becoming an independent country.”

In 2017, Ms Sturgeon even issued an open call to people across the UK to move to Scotland to escape Brexit.

The First Minister was addressing the SNP’s spring conference and extended her invitation to everyone “as appalled as we are at the path this Westminster government is taking”.

Insisting “there will be an independence referendum”, even though she had not yet secured a Holyrood vote for a Section 30 notification, much less Westminster’s blessing to hold the ballot, Ms Sturgeon painted Scotland as a potential beacon of modernity and openness.

She said: “Scotland isn’t full up.

“If you are as appalled as we are at the path this Westminster government is taking, come and join us.

“Come here to live, work, invest or study.

“Come to Scotland and be part of building a modern, progressive, outward-looking, compassionate country.”

Ms Sturgeon made clear she opposed a hard Brexit and used her speech in Aberdeen to attack former Prime Minister Theresa May’s “intransigence”, warning it spelt problems for the UK in its negotiations with the European Union.

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She said: “The Prime Minister’s attitude should worry all of us hoping that negotiations with Europe will not be a disaster because—and let me put this bluntly—if she shows the same condescension and inflexibility, the same tin ear, to other EU countries as she has to Scotland then the Brexit process will hit the rocks.”

Ms Sturgeon shocked the UK Government at the time when she announced she wanted to hold a second independence referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, once the terms of Brexit were known.

She said she wanted Scots to be able to make an “informed” choice.

Despite her wishes, she was never granted permission from Mrs May’s government.

Last week, Ms Sturgeon opened formal talks with the Scottish Greens on a cooperation deal in government, in a move designed to cement a pro-independence majority at Holyrood and bolster its pro-climate credentials.

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In a move mooted before the May elections, the First Minister said the SNP and Scottish Greens could jointly write policies on the climate crisis and the shift to net zero, in return for Green votes to back her spending plans and legislation.

The deal, which is likely to stop short of a full coalition agreement, could see the Greens win ministerial seats in future, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs.

A deal would be used by Ms Sturgeon to strengthen her hand in the battle with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Government for the legal authority to hold a second independence referendum and to ensure any referendum legislation carries a clear parliamentary mandate.



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