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Scotland’s campaign for a new independence referendum begins

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Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party (SNP) will start their campaign next week for a second independence referendum – whether Westminster likes it or not. The SNP will be hoping the economic consequences of Brexit will fuel the movement for independence.

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During the build-up to last Thursdays British general election, Sturgeons message was simple: the future of Scotland is on the line.

Sturgeon, Scotlands first minister, made her partys campaign a single-issue one, and the SNP went on to win more than 80 percent of seats in Scotland. This result was the second-highest ever win for the SNP, with the party increasing its number of seats in Parliament to 48, an increase of 13 from the 2017 election.

Speaking in Edinburgh after the results on Friday morning, Sturgeon described the outcome as “an overwhelming endorsement of our campaign, message and vision”.

“It is clear, beyond any doubt, that the kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is very different to that chosen by much of the rest of the UK. Scotland has rejected Boris Johnson and the Tories, and yet again we have said no to Brexit.”

However, despite this convincing SNP victory, the mood in Scotland was anything but jubilant as the election results were announced on Friday.

“I think there was a large level of shock felt across Scotland on Friday morning. I dont think people up here expected such a large Conservative majority,” says Dr. Andrew Judge, Deputy Head of Politics and International Relations at the University of Glasgow, speaking with FRANCE 24.

Judge says there was also a certain sense of resignation.

“Theres a history of antipathy to the Conservatives across large parts of Scottish culture and classes. I think people may have dejectedly shrugged when they saw we had another Tory government coming into power.”

Static support for independence

Sturgeon will face quite the adversary when she presents her case for Scottish independence.

She confirmed that the Scottish government will publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge next week.

“This is not about asking Boris Johnson or any other Westminster politician for permission. The people of Scotland have spoken. It is time now to decide our own future.”

Sturgeons announcement about a potential #indyref2 caused searches for How to move to Scotland to spike on Google.

"'How to move to Scotland' searches spike on Google after Nicola Sturgeon announces indyref2 plans". Boris may well be the last prime minister of the United Kingdom as we know it. #brexit

— Thanasis Karavasilis (@DmJapan) December 13, 2019

In the build-up to the election, Johnson repeatedly ruled out allowing another referendum while he was in office. But Sturgeon has hinted that she might test this refusal through the courts.

When Sturgeon meets the PM next week, is there going to be a stalemate?

“Yes, it looks like its going to be a long drawn-out standoff,” says Judge. “The SNP and the pro-independence movement in Scotland are in a bind. It is clear this issue over who should govern Scotland was at the centre of this election. But, at the same time, support for independence had actually remained fairly static since the last referendum at 45 percent.”

The 2014 independence referendum was a closely fought battle, with the no side winning 55.3 percent of the vote. Interestingly, there were very few dont knows on this issue.

“The fact that most Scottish people do have a firm opinion and it has not changed over the years makes things difficult for the SNP,” said Judge. “There is not a lot of room for them to grow their support.”

“So, even if Boris Johnson said we could have another referendum, it is not entirely sure that it would pass this time. But Sturgeon did make this campaign all about independence, so perhaps there is Read More – Source