Nicola Sturgeon Fury: SNP leader embarrassed over Indyref2 ‘spring offensive’ plan | Politics | News

The First Minister announced on Monday that his campaign for Scottish independence would “resume in earnest” in the spring. But the SNP leader has been criticized for focusing on his next step to break the union following the emergence of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross called it an “disgrace”, while Scottish Labor deputy leader Jackie Bailey said it was “extremely disappointing and irresponsible”.

Mr Ross said: “The people of Scotland may have sighed with dismay – but not disbelief – that Nicola Sturgeon’s response to the grim new COVID stress is to reaffirm her commitment to holding another divisive independence referendum within two years.

“It is a shame that the day the First Minister talks about the possibility of implementing new sanctions to counter the Omicron version, his focus is once again on breaking up the UK.

“But, as always with the SNP, independence takes precedence over every other priority, even when opinion poll after opinion poll tells them that the public wants them to keep up with the day’s work.

“Scotland’s NHS is at breaking point, our drugs-death crisis puts the country to shame, our education system is in decline and the SNP’s soft-touch approach to justice is frustrating the public.

“Nicola Sturgeon’s government has created too many problems – and has a duty to fix them – but their mind is elsewhere.”

Ms Bailey said: “It is deeply disappointing and irresponsible, in the face of a profound public health crisis, that the First Minister’s focus is once again on the sowing divide between Scotland and the rest of Britain.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s speech contained almost twice as many references to freedom as to healthcare.”

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Ms Sturgeon commented on Scottish independence as she delivered the closing speech at the SNP annual convention on Monday.

Having already pledged to hold a second independence referendum before the end of 2023, the First Minister said the campaign would “resume in earnest” next spring.

Boris Johnson has so far defied pressure from Ms Sturgeon to cast another vote on his future for Scotland after decisively denying the country’s independence in 2014.

Ms Sturgeon said: “My message to the Prime Minister is this – if you have any respect for democracy at all – and if you have any confidence in your argument against freedom – then you too will let the people decide.

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“Next year, COVID allowed, as we move from winter to spring, a campaign to convince most people in Scotland that our future will be more secure as an independent nation resumes in earnest.

“During the next year, I will begin the process necessary to enable the referendum before the end of 2023.

“And equally important is that our party will put forward the positive case of independence afresh.

“We will outline the opportunities and benefits that will open up the opportunity to repair the loss of freedom Covid – including the financial challenges it creates for all countries – in a way that aligns with our values ​​and priorities as a nation. There are.

“Using our financial and human resources to tackle poverty and give better lives to the youth.

“To use our vast natural resources to help protect our planet and secure green jobs for the future.

“And to rejoin the European family of nations, so that we cannot expand our horizons, and expand our trade across the continent.

“We will also be clear about the challenges that the transition to independence will present, and clearly determine how we can and will overcome them. And then, friends, we will ask people to make decisions. “

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