Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Nicola Sturgeon sets out agenda for Scotland's future

Nicola Sturgeon sets out agenda for Scotland's future

NICOLA Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have both denied Scotland has become a more divided nation after ten years of SNP government.

However, not everyone was happy with the change in direction by the first minister.

"Only then can we stop the Tories at Westminster bartering away Scotland's jobs and industries in Brexit negotiations".

Nicola Sturgeon will demand a place at the Brexit negotiating table if her party wins a majority of Scottish seats at next month's General Election.

She said: "What I am saying in this election is that we have an opportunity, by how we vote, to give those proposals democratic legitimacy".

"And strengthening Scotland's right to take our own decisions - to ensure that Scotland's future lies in Scotland's hands".

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the possibility during an interview with BBC Radio Scotland.

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Asked what currency could be used, Ms Sturgeon said: "The starting point for an independent Scotland is we'd use the pound, it's our currency. We have to set that out at the time because there are still some uncertainties, many uncertainties, around the Brexit process".

"I know we are not flawless".

"Of course, people in Scotland have different opinions on independence but we can disagree without being divided and I think Ruth Davidson is doing her best to try to stir up division".

And she also argued for the reform of the deeply unpopular Common Fisheries Policy, proposing to replace an "open to all" policy with the regionalization of fishing rights.

Ms Sturgeon added that it was vital Scotland's fishing industry could continue to have access to an worldwide export market.

This newspaper obtained correspondence between Ms Sturgeon, other SNP ministers and civil servants in the run-up to the report's publication.

"All this is because SNP ministers have been distracted by their obsession with independence".

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"The biggest SNP broken promise of all is that an independence referendum would a once in a lifetime event".

"The bottom line though is our single market membership should be protected".

The SNP leader said an independent Scotland could join the Euro Free Trade Agreement or the European Economic Area, two organisations which trade freely with the EU but are not full members.

"When we come to an independence referendum, if we come to an independence referendum, these issues will be subject to the greatest of scrutiny".

Now, however, she had recognised Scotland could not immediate rejoin the European Union after independence, confirming speculation she could instead propose Scotland takes the "Norway option" by joining the EFTA free trade area along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

"In a country as wealthy as Scotland it should shame the SNP and the Tories that working families can't afford to feed themselves".

"Now, more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland. We have an opportunity in this election to strengthen, not Theresa May's hand, but strengthen Scotland's hand".

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