‘It’s time to stick together’ BBC’s Katya Adler grills Sturgeon over ‘fractious’ indyref2

Sturgeon quizzed on Scottish independence by Adler

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was confronted on the set of the Hay Festival on the legitimacy of Scottish independence at a time of unprecedented challenges facing Boris Johnson’s Government. The UK has been offering its unwavering military support to Ukraine against Putin’s invasion in recent months, trying to respond to rising inflation and energy costs among other pressing issues – and now is on the brink of witnessing a no-confidence vote in Parliament against the prime minister.

Against that backdrop, BBC’s Europe editor Katya Adler questioned First Minister Sturgeon’s intentions with a new independence call.

Mr Adler said: “We’ve got war back on the continent here.

“Is this not a time when you know, it’s time to stick together if you believe in principles if you believe in whether it’s – Hillary Clinton was talking at Hay last night talking about trying to protect liberal democracy or democracy itself.

“Is this a time to fracture and splinter?”, Mr Adler asked.

In her defence, Nicola Sturgeon said: “See, that’s not what independence says.  It’s not about separating ourselves. It’s not about turning away from the rest of the UK or Europe or the world.

“It’s about self-government. It’s about the road to Scotland playing a bigger, more constructive part in the world order and in defending those values of liberal democracy, which really need defending right now.”

Ms Sturgeon’s comments come as the 10 June deadline is fast approaching. By that date, the Scottish Government must publish details of legal advice it has received over a potential second independence referendum.

Constitutional experts have been divided over whether Scotland can legally move forward with a referendum without the UK Government’s consent.

So far, Boris Johnson’s Government has not shown any signs of acceding to that demand after the first referendum in 2014 resulted in a win to remain in the UK, with 54 percent of voters choosing to remain.

Ms Sturgeon continued: “So, independence is an internationalist project. It’s about looking outwards. The thing that has separated Scotland in recent years, that has turned Scotland completely against our will inwards is Brexit.”

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“We’ve been taken out of the European Union”, Ms Sturgeon added.

In the 2016 Brexit referendum, 62 percent of Scots voted to remain in the European Union – at odds with the UK that voted to leave. Ms Sturgeon has since leveraged that argument to promote IndyRef2 and is now pushing for a second vote by the end of 2023.

The latest Ipsos Mori poll shows support for Scottish independence is split down the middle.

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