Nicola Sturgeon to publish second paper on Scottish independence plan to overhaul 'democratic deficit'

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Anna Fox

By Anna Fox

Published: 13/07/2022

- 23:04

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:50

The Scottish First Minister will outline her plans in a paper titled Renewing Democracy Through Independence

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to publish the second paper in her prospectus for independence.

In an address to Holyrood tomorrow, the leader of the SNP will outline her “detailed prospectus” with a paper titled Renewing Democracy Through Independence.

The first of these reports, which was unveiled at Bute House in Edinburgh last month, was described as a "scene setter".

The paper, published by the Scottish Government, highlighted economic areas where the UK is outperformed by a group of other European countries.

Ms Sturgeon maintained her staunch stance favouring a second independence referendum, proposing the date of October 19, 2023 for the vote, though the Supreme Court has been asked to rule on the legality of the Scottish Government’s plans.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister
Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister
GilesG Photography/SCDI

If the Supreme Court opposes the First Minister's plans, she says she will consider the next general election to be a “de facto referendum”.

Ms Sturgeon is expected to say: “This discussion could not be more timely or urgent – the democratic deficit Scotland faces is not a recent phenomenon, but the evidence of it now is starker than ever.

“A Prime Minister with no democratic endorsement from Scotland is about to be replaced by yet another Prime Minister that Scotland hasn’t voted for – and wouldn’t vote for even if we were given the chance."

Scottish Parliament, Holyrood
Scottish Parliament, Holyrood
Jane Barlow

The First Minister will emphasise how the UK Government "deny" Scottish parliamentary democracy, stating how the Scottish public have "repeatedly elected a majority in the Scottish Parliament committed to an independence referendum is treated as immaterial".

She will also add: "You don’t have to be a supporter of independence to know that’s not democracy.

“That attitude is not surprising from Tories – but these days, where the Tories go, Labour seem obliged to follow.

“Just as in 2014, they are teaming up with the Tories to frustrate the will of the Scottish people.

“Labour’s positions are nothing to do with the interests, let alone the democratic wishes, of people in Scotland."

Condemning the Conservative Government's views as "cynical political calculations" adding how "what Scotland is hearing and seeing, on a daily basis, from Westminster parties encapsulates the democratic deficit that we face as part of the UK".

She will add that only independence offers a “real and permanent alternative” to a Tory Government.

Despite the damning comments for the Scottish First Minister, the Conservatives accused Ms Sturgeon of “stubbornly ignoring the real priorities of people across Scotland and instead talking about her usual obsession” of independence.

The Scottish Conservative Party's constitution spokesman at Holyrood, Donald Cameron, said: “In the week that Scotland’s NHS recorded the worst A&E waiting times on record, people will be outraged to see Nicola Sturgeon continuing to campaign for an independence referendum next year.

“This SNP Government are once again focused on the wrong priority at the worst possible time.”

He insisted: “The vast majority of Scots don’t want a divisive second referendum next year, yet it seems that the SNP are only too happy to ignore democracy when it doesn’t go their way.”

Scottish Labour’s constitution spokesperson Sarah Boyack also retaliated, saying: “When people across Scotland are crying out for help with the cost-of-living crisis, precious government time and energy is being poured into the SNP’s endless attempts to whip up division.”

Ms Boyack added: “The last paper was nothing but fantasy economics and baseless promises of jam tomorrow, without a shred of clarity on the unanswered questions plaguing the SNP’s reckless plans or any attempt to use the powers they have now.”

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