Sturgeon rebrands Yes campaign as 'Scotland's democracy movement'

Sturgeon rebrands Yes campaign as 'Scotland's democracy movement' <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Sturgeon rebrands Yes campaign as 'Scotland's democracy movement' (Image: PA)

NICOLA Sturgeon has claimed the independence movement has now become “Scotland’s democracy movement” after losing her legal bid to secure another referendum.

The First Minister told a rally of several hundred Yes supporters outside Holyrood it was now clear the UK was not the “voluntary partnership” it professed to be.

She said that any partnership that forced one of its members to seek consent to leave was not voluntary - indeed, it was “not a partnership at all”.

It followed five judges at the UK Supreme Court ruling unanimously that Holyrood does not have the power to hold Indyref2 without Westminster’s consent.

The judgment sank Ms Sturgeon’s plan to pass a stand-alone Holyrood Referendum Bill and hold Indyref2 in October next year.

She has said she will fight the next general election as a “de facto” referendum on independence instead.

Addressing the rally, she thanked her “fellow supporters of Scottish democracy” for making their voices heard “in support of the democracy of our nation”.

She said: “We are here as representatives of Scotland’s independence movement, a movement that will grow in numbers with every day that passes.

“But today our independence movement also becomes Scotland’s democracy movement.

“Today, it has been clarified - something that many of us suspected but hoped was not the case - but it has been clarified today that the United Kingdom is not a voluntary partnership of nations.

“Any partnership in any walk of life that requires one party to seek the consent of another to choose its own future is not voluntary, it is not a partnership at all.

“While today’s ruling may create temporary relief on the part of Unionist politicians and parties, they should know that the hardest questions that have been posed today are questions for them, because they are questions about the future and the basis of the United Kingdom.”

She went on: “The Westminster establishment may think it can block a referendum.

“But let me be clear… no establishment, Westminster or otherwise, will ever silence the voice of the Scottish people.

“Our task, our job, as Scotland’s peaceful, civic, inclusive internationalist independence movement is the same today as it was yesterday.

“It is to build the case for Scotland becoming a normal equal independent member of the European family of nations.

“It is to build though dignified and patient persuasion clear overwhelming majority support Scotland for a more equal Scotland for days and generations to come.

“This is a movement that I have been proud to be part of since I was a teenager, and it is a movement I know is destined to win the independence of our country.

“Let us rededicate ourselves to that task today.

“What has been shown beyond any doubt today is that the only route to equality for Scotland within the British family of nations is by Scotland becoming an independent country.

“Let’s get to it, my friends.”