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BREXIT DAY

As successive UK Governments continue to ride roughshod over Scotland’s will, we must decide our own future – not have Boris Johnson decide it for us.

The First Minister has today announced that the SNP will seek to secure a binding referendum for the Scottish people. We will seek to do this by bringing together the elected representatives of Scotland: MSPs, MPs, the MEPs elected last year and council leaders – to come together to endorse a modern Claim of Right for Scotland through a new Constitutional Convention.

To declare that it is for the Scottish Parliament to decide whether and when there should be an independence choice and build support for that principle amongst civic Scotland.

Independence has always been backed up with a solid plan. In 2014, we produced ‘Scotland’s Future’. We will now produce the ‘New Scotland’ papers which will provide the information and answers people want on the details on how Scotland can make the transition from a Yes vote to becoming an independent country.

They will set out ideas and options for how we can use the powers of independence to build a better future – to grow a stronger and more sustainable economy, tackle poverty and inequality, better meet the climate challenge and expand opportunity for our country and for each and every person who lives here.

Scotland’s people are moving the country towards independence. Our will cannot be undermined and the SNP is fighting for a Scotland which will be able to make its own decisions. We can achieve that with independence.

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HoC: Scotland’s Claim of Right

Yesterday I spoke in support of a SNP motion asserting Scotland’s Claim of Right: that Scotland and its people – through the process of referenda and elections – are sovereign and will decide what form of government best suits our interests. We do not need Westminster’s permission to have Scotland’s voice heard. Especially when Westminster is already undermining Scotland’s Parliament by conducting a Brexit Power Grab.

At the heart of the debate is human rights: the right to self-determination which should not be interfered with by any political party just because they would take an opposing side on the question being asked. Scotland’s sovereignty is worth too much to be given up. I was glad during my speech to have paid my respects to the people of Catalonia and the political prisoners there who are struggling for their own democratic rights.

To respond further to Alistair Carmichael’s intervention: I respect the opinion of people who voted no and people who voted leave. Not every person who voted to remain wants independence and not every person who voted leave wants to stay in the UK. Referendums and elections are voted on based on the circumstances of the time. Democracy and views are fluid and changing. And it is on that basis that Scotland – and Scotland alone – will decide whether or not to reconsider our future and decide not only what government best suits our interests, but what country we want to be.

People in Scotland see Theresa May walking hand-in-hand with Donald Trump. They see the rich get richer while their communities and neighbours struggle. They Westminster treat Scotland with utter disdain giving its Parliament only 15 minutes of consideration.

The Poll Tax; Thatcher’s decimation of Scotland’s industry; foreign wars; nuclear weapons on the Clyde; foodbank use through the roof; and precarious, low pay employment, people in Scotland imagine something better that Westminster has failed time and time again to deliver – peace, prosperity and greater power over the decisions that affect their lives.

This what independence is about.