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Scotland will be 'ripped from Europe' without independence, says Nicola Sturgeon

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks during a pro-Scottish Independence rally in Glasgow, Scotland, November 2, 2019.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks during a pro-Scottish Independence rally in Glasgow, Scotland, November 2, 2019. -
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Nicola Sturgeon has called for independence to prevent Scotland being “ripped from her European family” against its will.

Scotland’s First Minister and the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) told a thousands-strong crowd in Glasgow that the election on December 12 was “the most important in our lifetimes” before holding a sign saying ‘Yes’, signifying a vote for independence for Scotland.

Sturgeon, who does not sit as an MP in Westminster as she is a Minister for the Scottish Parliament, also criticised both the Conservative and Labour parties.

She said Boris Johnson “has his strings pulled by Donald Trump” while the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn “cannot even make up his mind where it stands on the question of Brexit".

"My friends, the better alternative, the much better alternative for our country is to take our future into our hands,” she said.

Scotland held a referendum on independence in 2014, which the ‘No’ campaign won with 55.3% of the vote.

Despite the result, the SNP — which campaigns for independence — swept the polls in Scotland in the 2015 general election, all but wiping out Labour north of the border and going from six seats in the House of Commons to 56.

In the snap election of 2017, the SNP lost 21 seats, bringing its number in the Commons down to 35.

Second referendum

The SNP is campaigning for a second referendum on Scottish independence, arguing that Britain’s disorderly exit from the European Union is rejected by the majority of Scots, 62% of which voted remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

There have been suggestions that should Labour or the Liberal Democrats manage to take seats from the Conservatives in next month’s election, the SNP could enter a coalition that would hold a referendum on a Brexit deal - or on stopping Brexit altogether.

But the party has openly stated its intention to mop up the remainder of Scotland’s Westminster seats, including East Dunbartonshire, where Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has a majority of just 6,000.

In September, Sturgeon won an award in Germany for being a "voice of reason" on Brexit.

In her speech, she said: "Scotland is and I think always will be a European nation, a committed supporter of the European Union."

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