Prime Minister still plans to hold independence referendum in 2023 –

Prime Minister still plans to hold independence referendum in 2023 –

Nikola Sturgeon said he still hopes to hold an independence referendum next year.

His comments came after Westminster SNP leader Ian Blackford suggested that the Scottish government’s planned election program could be delayed due to the conflict in Ukraine.

But in an interview with LBC, when the prime minister was asked whether the current geopolitical situation had affected his way of thinking about the 2023 referendum, he replied: “My plans and my way of thinking have not changed.” .

Sturgeon added: “First of all, we need to remember that we are fortunate to live in a free democracy where we can make claims on political constitutional amendments, passionately stating our views on the matter, whatever our views. You can trust and trust people in making decisions.

“I support independence for many reasons, but one of the reasons for supporting my independence is that Scotland, although a small country, plays a more important role, being a progressive and constructive international in building a more peaceful world. Become a partner, a progressive country that welcomes refugees.

And we see Scotland as a place of refuge, a country that sees the benefits we get from the people who come here and contribute to our community. “And in reality, all these issues, I believe, are now on the agenda because of the tragedy that took place in Ukraine.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said the prime minister had “lost perspective”.

“For the first time in this century, war has returned to Europe, threatening global peace and security. We face the worst life crisis in decades, in which the effects of the global pandemic have devastated our NHS following a climate emergency.

“Not all the questions we face are answered in the chaos and division of the upcoming independence referendum.

“We need a government that prioritizes health, education, climate and the cost of living. “If the SNP doesn’t do it, it has to pave the way for someone to do it.”

Pamela Nash, CEO of Union Scotland, a UK-based advocacy group, said: “Nicolas Sturgeon has absolutely nothing to do with the Scottish people and should be ashamed to prioritize the issue of separation for so many people. in such a difficult time. .

“While the last thing the NATO Alliance needs is weakening due to the disintegration of the UK, as part of the UK we can pool and share resources to ensure that no community is left behind as we recover from Covid and we we turn to the family. Budget. Crisis. ”

In November last year, the prime minister told an SNP conference that he would continue his campaign for independence “as we move from winter to spring.”

“Next year I will start the process of holding a referendum by the end of 2023,” he told delegates.

Asked about the timing last week, Blackford said: “We have to respect the responsibilities we have in the short term, but I also respect the principle that we have the authority to hold an independence referendum.

“I want the referendum to take place on time. I want to be able to do the job we have.

“Whoever wants to continue our work, of course we will, but we must remember where we are”.

Asked whether the second referendum would be postponed due to the war in Ukraine, Blackford said: “We have to play where it is now and the only thing I focus on today is Ukraine.”

Source: Herald Scotland