Scottish independence will be better planned than Brexit, Sturgeon insists

Nicola Sturgeon has said Scottish independence will be better planned than Brexit.

Speaking at a campaign event in Dundee, the First Minister suggested Westminster will be “engulfed by Brexit for years to come”.

When asked how long it would take for Scotland to become fully independent from the UK, the First Minister did not give a specific timescale but said the Scottish Government would make plans for the country’s future.

Ms Sturgeon said those who pushed to leave the EU did not plan for negotiations or for what the UK would look like after a deal was struck.

She said: “I can understand why proponents of Brexit want to draw the analogy between the Brexit process and independence.

“As much as I oppose Brexit, there was nothing inevitable about the mess that the Brexit process became.

“That was down to the fact that those who advocated Leave in the referendum didn’t put any detail of what it would mean in practice – of the trade-offs and compromises that would be required to implement that – before people.”

Ms Sturgeon accused former Prime Minister Theresa May of “putting down contradictory red lines” in an attempt to “pull the wool over people’s eyes” after the June 2016 vote on EU membership.

Salmond question-and-answer session
Salmond question-and-answer session

She also said the Scottish Government put its proposals forward before the first vote on independence in 2014 by publishing a White Paper.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Not everyone agreed with that, there was vigorous debate around it, but it was there for people to judge.

“We were very upfront, at times very controversially, about some of the compromises and trade-offs.”

The First Minister said the currency union, an agreement between Scotland and the rest of the UK to keep the pound, was one example of a compromise.

Former Chancellor George Osborne publicly ruled out the possibility of a currency union with an independent Scotland before the vote in 2014.

The First Minister said: “We had done the planning and we will do so again.

“Let us not allow the charlatans who will tell people that constitutional change has to be that way.

“It was and is that way with Brexit because of their dishonesty and their lack of planning.

“These are mistakes the independence campaign didn’t make in 2014 and will not make in the future.”

Tory leadership race
Tory leadership race

The First Minister also told the crowds that, regardless of whether Brexit is stopped in Westminster, “there is no guarantee that we don’t have other policies imposed on us by a Tory Government”.

She added: “Brexit has brought into sharp relief this fundamental question: if we want Scotland to become the country that we know it can be, then how do we best secure that?

“Do we allow people like Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage or even Jeremy Corbyn to determine Scotland’s path and what type of country we are?

“Or do we take that future into our own hands?”