Brexit has “materially strengthened” the case for Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon has said. The First Minister said Scotland’s interests are being “completely ignored and sidelined” and that what has happened in the last two years has reinforced the case for it to leave the UK.
Ms Sturgeon would not be drawn on timings around an independence referendum, saying she would wait until this phase of the Brexit process concludes. However she said there is a mandate to have an independence referendum within this term of the Holyrood parliament and that “there is every right on the Scottish Government to fulfill that mandate”.
Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, she said: “Everything that has happened over the past couple of years, from Scotland facing exit from the EU against our will to every reasonable attempt at compromise to protect Scotland’s interests by the Scottish Government being spurned, to the powers of the Scottish Parliament being eroded, to the UK Government even taking the Scottish Government to court, all of that has strengthened and reinforced the case for Scotland to be independent, because these are not just academic arguments, all of this will have a material impact on Scotland’s economy and well-being for decades to come.”
She added: “The case for independence is materially strengthened from an already strong base in 2014 because of all of the experience of Scotland in the last two years.
“We were told in 2014 that it was voting for independence that would put in peril our membership of the European Union. Because we didn’t vote for independence, we now not just find ourselves facing exit, the voice and the interests of Scotland are being completely ignored and sidelined.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that the UK will be in “uncharted territory” if her deal is rejected in next week’s crunch vote. expected on January 15.
Ms Sturgeon said there is “clearly no majority” to crash out of the EU without a deal and that holding another referendum on the issue should be the alternative.