Lorraine Kellys brutal reminder to Nicola Sturgeon about referendum:
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The Scottish First Minister recently implied that a Supreme Court ruling made the case for independence even stronger. It came as the UK’s highest court decided that two pieces of legislation passed by MSPs — Scotland’s political representatives — earlier this year went beyond the Scottish Parliament’s powers. The pieces sought to enshrine treaties on children’s rights and local government in Scots law.
But the court ruled that they must now be returned to Holyrood to be redrafted, saying that sections in both Bills could undermine the “unqualified power” of the UK Parliament to make laws for Scotland, which would be in breach of the 1998 Scotland Act.
Autonomy is one of Ms Sturgeon’s biggest arguments for independence, and claimed the ruling made the case for independence even stronger as being in the UK overrode Holyrood’s right to lay down its own laws.
She is hoping to hold a second independence referendum by the end of 2023.
While sitting as deputy First Minister in 2014 under Alex Salmond, the SNP threw everything they had after securing the right to hold an independence referendum.
Despite the support, 55 per cent of the electorate chose to remain a part of the UK.
In 2015, five months after the failed referendum and at the beginning of Ms Sturgeon’s career as First Minister, she appeared on Lorraine Kelly’s ITV show Lorraine.
Lorraine today stars on James Martin’s Saturday Morning, and while unlikely to touch on the topic of independence, will tuck into some quiche, duck, crab and monkfish cooked by the celebrated chef himself.
Ms Sturgeon, speaking about what it is like to be a woman in politics, she said: “There are now more women in politics, in the Scottish Parliament when I stand up each week to do First Minister’s questions, I’m doing it in front of a woman presiding officer, the speaker of Holyrood.
“There’s a woman asking me questions from the Labour opposition, there’s a woman asking me questions from the Tory opposition – that is big progress, but there’s still a long way to go and we need to keep moving that progress forward.”
Making an abrupt segue, Lorraine said: “Now, you lost.
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“It was no, wasn’t it?
“Scotland decided to stay as part of the UK.”
She noted a poll from the time that suggested 69 per cent of people outside of Scotland believed that independence was inevitable for the country.
Ms Sturgeon agreed.
She said: “I think the mood is that yes, Scotland will become an independent country one day, the feeling is that’s the direction of travel we’re now on.”
She added, however, that there were still people who didn’t want it to happen, and that it would only happen if “a majority of people can be persuaded to vote for it in a referendum”.
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A Scotswoman herself, Lorraine has managed to keep tight-lipped on her opinion on Scottish independence throughout her career as a broadcaster.
Strict broadcasting and impartiality rules mean she has little scope to express political opinion.
She has, however, previously described Ms Sturgeon as a “remarkable stateswoman”.
She said this earlier this year, when Ms Sturgeon’s SNP swept Holyrood in the May elections and fell one short of a majority.
In their eyes, the result acted as a precedent to push on with a second independence bid.
In a tweet, Lorraine noted that the First Minister has an “astonishing” work ethic.
She wrote: “Very impressive speech from @NicolaSturgeon – no matter what your party allegiance – she is a remarkable stateswoman with a work ethic that’s astonishing.”
Ms Sturgeon described the win as an “extraordinary and historic achievement”.
She said: “This election result is – by any standard – an extraordinary and historic achievement.
“We took our positive message of hope and recovery to every corner of the country, and it has been endorsed emphatically by the Scottish people.
“The majority of people in Scotland back a progressive, inclusive, outward looking vision for the future of our nation.
“And yet we are facing many more years of right-wing Brexit-obsessed Tory governments that we don’t vote for, taking us in a direction we haven’t chosen.
“And that brings into sharp focus the key question we posed at this election – how do we best secure the kind of country we want to build?
“And it is why – just as we said in the election – the people in Scotland must have the right to decide our own future when the Covid crisis has passed.
“This is now a matter of fundamental democratic principle. Already today, I hear opposition parties – and some commentators – talking about what they call “SNP demands” for an independence referendum.”
James Martin’s Saturday Morning airs on ITV One at 9:30am.
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