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February 22, 2019

Scottish leader urges separatists to wait for independence vote

Scottish leader urges separatists to wait for independence vote
'Scotland's nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon said the British government was "paralysed" over Brexit ' - By: AFP Andy Buchanan

Scotland's nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon on Saturday urged impatient separatists to quell their desire for a swift new referendum on independence from the rest of Britain.

In a speech to her Scottish National Party's conference in Aberdeen, Sturgeon urged activists instead to focus on convincing others of the case for breaking away.

She said the British government was "paralysed" over Brexit, which the SNP strongly opposes, "and the sooner it holds no sway over Scotland, the better".

However, polls have consistently shown no significant change in the proportion of Scots that back independence since the 2014 referendum, when 55 percent voted against leaving the UK.

"My sense as I travel this country is that people have had enough of the despair and the despondency of Brexit," Sturgeon told a packed conference hall.

"They want to be inspired by the hope of a better future instead. Friends, our task is to persuade them that this better future is an independent one."

She added: "Confidence in the independence case is growing. So as we wait for the fog of Brexit to clear, our opportunity -- indeed, our responsibility -- is this.

"Not just to focus on the 'when' of independence. But to use our energy and our passion to persuade those who still ask 'why?' Right now, that is the more important task."

Scotland voted by 62 percent to remain in the European Union in a 2016 referendum, generating a rift because the United Kingdom as a whole voted to leave.

Sturgeon immediately made plans for a second independence vote, but momentum stalled when polls showed little change in Scottish attitudes and even less appetite for another vote.

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