Nicola Sturgeon: What time is First Minister's speech at SNP Conference, what will she say on independence?

The First Minister will be giving a speech at her party conference on Monday – here is what she is expected to say.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 10:32 am
Updated Monday, 13th September 2021, 4:25 pm

When will Nicola Sturgeon address the conference and how can I watch?

Ms Sturgeon is expected to speak on Monday at 11.50 am.

You can watch the speech on YouTube, where the conference has been streamed, or follow along with The Scotsman’s live blog.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon prepares her conference speech at her home in Glasgow on September 12, 2021, ahead of her virtual appearance at the SNP Conference on Monday. Photo by JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

What is she expected to say?

Nicola Sturgeon will ask the UK Government to agree to another Scottish independence referendum “in the spirit of co-operation”.

Scotland’s First Minister will tell SNP members that “democracy must – and will – prevail” to allow another vote on Scottish independence.

The SNP leader has called for another referendum by the end of 2023 when the coronavirus pandemic is over, although the UK Government remains opposed to another vote.

Ms Sturgeon is expected to tell the virtual conference: “My approach to government and to politics will be, as far as possible, co-operation not confrontation.

“The experience of the pandemic and the challenges we face as a result reinforces my view that this is the right approach.

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“So it is in that spirit of co-operation that I hope the Scottish and UK governments can reach agreement – as we did in 2014 – to allow the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland to be heard and respected.

“But, this much is clear: democracy must – and will – prevail.”

She will add: “The United Kingdom is after all a voluntary union of nations.

“Until recently no-one seriously challenged the right of the people in Scotland to choose whether or not they wished to become independent.

“Frankly it is not up to a Westminster government which has just six MPs in Scotland to decide our future without the consent of the people who live here.

“As an independent country, co-operation between Scotland and our friends across the rest of the UK will continue, but it will be on a better basis: Scotland will be an equal partner.”

What have opposition groups said about this?

Responding to Ms Sturgeon’s trailed remarks, chief executive of the Scotland in Union campaign group, Pamela Nash, said: “This is Groundhog Day yet again at SNP conference, with nationalist politicians only interested in talking about the constitution.

“The First Minister has clearly run out of ideas.

“If Nicola Sturgeon was serious about believing in co-operation, she would focus on making devolution work and using Holyrood’s powers to build a recovery for everyone.

“Instead, she is blindsided by her obsession with breaking up our country.

“Scotland deserves better than a government that prioritises division ahead of devolution.”

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