The First Minister has said the “people’s will must prevail” as she prepares to outline the Scottish Government’s plan to hold a second independence referendum in Scotland.
On Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon will address Holyrood with the SNP’s ‘route map’ to indyref2.
Earlier this month, Sturgeon announced the party would seek a second referendum, arguing the SNP had won a mandate following last year’s Holyrood elections.
The first of a series of papers making the case for independence were also unveiled, with the Scottish Government aiming to hold a vote on the issue in October next year.
Ahead of the statement to parliament, Sturgeon said: “The people of Scotland have elected a Parliament committed to giving them a choice on independence, and so that democratic will must be respected.
“In Scotland, it is the people who are and have always been sovereign – and it is the people’s will which must prevail.
“That may be an inconvenient truth for our political opponents, but it is a simple and unavoidable truth nonetheless.
“Continued attempts to block that democratic will only weaken the UK Government’s standing, here and internationally.
“Bluntly, the UK Government is in no position to lecture any other country about the need to respect democratic norms if it is intent on trying to thwart democracy at home.
“And, because we live in a democracy where election results still matter, continued efforts to thwart the will of the people must – and will – fail.
“The UK is either a partnership of consent or it is not a partnership worthy of the name. Westminster rule over Scotland cannot be based on anything other than a consented, voluntary partnership.
“It is time to give people the democratic choice they have voted for, and then with independence to build a more prosperous, fairer country in a true partnership of equals between Scotland and our friends in the rest of the UK.”
However Scottish political leaders have slammed the SNP’s decision to move forward with a second referendum, with Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar accusing the SNP of “trying to drag Scotland back to the politics of the past”.
“It is no surprise that Nicola Sturgeon is ramping up her efforts to sow division and strife when we see the chaos in her party and the failures of her government,” Sarwar said.
“She says to listen to the people of Scotland – but she refuses to herself, forging ahead with an unwanted referendum and ignoring people’s desperate cries for help with the cost of living crisis.”
Meanwhile Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron called the First Minister’s push for a second referendum “the height of self-indulgence and irresponsibility”.
The shadow cabinet secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture added: “In the last week before summer recess, people want to see the SNP Government focus on the issues that really matter to them, rather than wasting time and energy on a pretend poll.
“Right now, ministers should be prioritising the global cost-of-living crisis, fixing our NHS and rebuilding our economy from the pandemic.
“It is disgraceful that Nicola Sturgeon would put all that on the backburner to push for another unwanted – possibly even illegal – referendum.
“Poll after poll has shown the public don’t want the distraction of another constitutional debate right now, as that would only reopen old sores and distract ministers from what really matters to voters.
“Nicola Sturgeon must get back to her day job, stop pandering to her party – and start listening to Scotland.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said plans for a second referendum were a “kick in the teeth” for Scots.
“Nicola Sturgeon’s desire to break up the UK is out of touch, obsessive and desperate,” Cole-Hamilton said.
“Nicola Sturgeon is neglecting everyone who is worried about paying the bills or the sharp spike in Covid infections. It’s a kick in the teeth for health staff, the hundreds of thousands of people on NHS waiting lists and anyone who believed the First Minister when she said education was the top priority.
“Breaking up the UK is not the solution to these problems. Her obsession with breaking up the UK is a big part of the problem.”