As world leaders are trying to tackle the new crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the latest variant of the virus, Ómicron, the Scottish chief minister appears to have better things to think about. In his closing speech at the annual congress of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon warned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that next year preparations will begin for the realization of a new independence referendum at the end of 2023 and accused him of embarking on a “permanent conflict with the European Union” since the launch of Brexit.
‘Next year, Covid permitting’ and during the transition from ‘winter to spring’ will begin ‘the campaign to persuade the majority of people in Scotland that our future will be more secure as independent nation“, Said the nationalist leader, who indicated that” in the course of next year I will initiate the necessary process to allow a referendum before the end of 2023 “.
Johnson has made it clear to Sturgeon on multiple occasions that he will not authorize the consultation, since in 2014, which was binding, 55% of citizens voted against divorce with the United Kingdom. For a new independence referendum to be legally valid, it is necessary for the British government to grant the Scottish Parliament permission to carry it out. Seven years ago, it was former Prime Minister David Cameron, the same one who had the idea to convene the consultation on Brexit in 2016 after promising it in the Conservative Party’s electoral program the previous year, who authorized the consultation requested by the then Scottish Chief Minister, Alex Salmond.
Sturgeon has however warned in the past that she is willing to go into battle with Johnson and that will challenge Westminster in court if necessary for the consultation to be approved. Despite the fact that during the past year support for independence fell in the nation, in the May elections the SNP and the Greens won the majority of the seats in the parliamentary elections.
“It is a shame that on the same day that the chief minister speaks about the possibility of introducing new restrictions to combat the Omicron variant, her attention is once again focused on dividing the United Kingdom,” Sturgeon Douglas Ross was ugly. leader of the Scottish Conservatives. In the same vein, Jackie Baillie, Deputy Leader of Scottish Labor, said that it is “deeply disappointing and irresponsible to sow the division between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom”.