'Independence has never been so certain!' Sturgeon kicks off SNP conference with rally cry

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Nicola Sturgeon told SNP activists that “independence is in clear sight” as she opened this year’s virtual party conference. This comes amid sustained support for the independence movement in Scotland as well as SNP plans to hold a referendum as soon as next year. The Scottish First Minister declared that Scotland is “now a nation on the cusp of making history”.

She told her party’s annual conference: “Since our last conference, we have won a landslide victory in a UK general election. And support for independence has risen.

“It has become the sustained and majority view in public opinion this year.

“While our primary focus is on tackling and beating COVID-19 – for which we have renewed hope – Scotland must be ready for what comes next. And I know we will be.

“The question for all of us as we look ahead to the election next May is this: who should be taking the decisions that shape our futures?”

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She continued: “Let us demonstrate – with cool heads and patient persuasion – that Scotland is ready to take its place in the global family of independent nations.

“Scotland is now a nation on the brink of making history.

“Independence is in clear sight – and if we show unity of purpose, humility and hard work, I have never been so certain that we will deliver it.

“An independent future lies ahead – let’s grasp it.”

The Scottish Labour constitution spokesman, Anas Sarwar, added: “This proves that Nicola Sturgeon only has one priority – dividing the people of Scotland.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, when people are losing their jobs and saying goodbye to loved ones, it is insulting that she wants to focus on independence.”

On Thursday, Ms Sturgeon told the BBC that a referendum could be held “in the earlier part” of the next parliamentary session.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he will not allow another referendum on Scottish independence to take place – even if the SNP win the Holyrood elections next May.

In early November, an Ipsos Mori poll found Scottish voters believed the economy, health and Brexit were more important issues than independence. 

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