‘Growing urgency' for Scottish independence

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed that there is ‘growing urgency’ for Scotland to become independent ‘sooner rather than later’.

Speaking after an opinion poll by Lord Ashcroft suggested a majority of Scots could back independence, Sturgeon warned that Scotland faces being ‘dragged down a political path we don’t want to do down’, because of Brexit and new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Although opposition parties say that another vote would be ‘divisive’, the leader of the Scottish National Party wants to hold a referendum in the second half of 2020, but has said her preferred timetable could be accelerated in light of developments around Brexit, particularly if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Sturgeon said: "I think there is growing support for independence in Scotland and I think there is, accompanying that, a growing sense of urgency that if we don't want to get dragged down a path, and I'm not just talking about Brexit here although largely that's what I mean, but dragged down a sort of political path that we don't want to go down, then we need to consider becoming independent sooner rather than later. Anecdotally, I have been detecting that shift that's shown up in the Ashcroft poll for quite some time now and I think we are now starting to see that manifest itself in the opinion polls."

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