Sturgeon’s address at Stanford: Scotland’s place in the world
Here is the video of Nicola Sturgeon’s speech at Stanford University: Scotland’s place in the world.
She makes a good case for independence post Brexit. Here are some bullet points with the full video below.
- Scotland’s modern identity, like the US’s, is an inclusive one. We basically take the approach that if you want to be Scottish, you can be.
- Those international ties are part of what I want to talk about today. I’m going to talk about Scotland’s desire – not just to create a fairer and more prosperous country – but also to make a positive contribution to the world
- Scotland has been a member of the European Union or EEC for more than 40 years. Our membership has brought us significant economic, environmental and social benefits. However, in addition to that, the fundamental principle of the EU – that different nations work together on equal terms for a common good – appeals to me and appeals to many people across Scotland. As a result, EU membership has become part of Scotland’s identity. It speaks to our sense of ourselves. That’s why in 2014, when Scotland had a referendum on whether to become an independent country, our membership of the European Union was an important issue. Nobody really argued about whether Scotland should be part of the EU – the only debate was about how we could best play our part. In particular, many of those who opposed independence – including the UK Government – argued that leaving the United Kingdom was a risk. It would threaten Scotland’s place in the European Union. That turned out to be entirely untrue. When the UK held a referendum on EU membership last year, a large majority of people in Scotland – 62% – chose to stay in the EU. However we were outvoted by the rest of the UK.
- What’s even worse is that the UK is not just leaving the EU; there is a real danger that it will leave in the most damaging way possible. Scotland has proposed ways in which the UK as a whole – or Scotland on its own – could retain membership of what is called the single market, without being part of the EU. Several other countries, such as Norway, have that arrangement. Our proposals have been disregarded by the UK Government.
- So Brexit – and the way in which the UK Government is choosing to impose Brexit upon Scotland – presents Scotland with a dilemma. Scotland had a referendum on independence less than three years ago. That’s why many people in Scotland – entirely understandably – are reluctant to have another one in the next two years. However if we do not give people in Scotland a choice, we will have to accept a course of action determined by a UK Government with only one elected representative in Scotland – a course which may be deeply damaging to our economy and our society for decades and maybe generations to come. In addition, the UK Parliament and the other 27 national parliaments of the EU will have a role in accepting the Brexit deal agreed between the UK Government and the EU. As things stand, Scotland will have no say.
- Brexit forces Scotland to choose. Do we remain part of a United Kingdom which is ending its membership of the largest trading block in the world, specifically in order to curb immigration? Or do we become an independent country – with the opportunities and risks that entails – and with the freedom to be an equal partner with other European nations and with countries across the world? My own view, as a supporter of independence, is that we will choose the second course. Independence, combined with equal partnership, is the best way for us to build a fairer society at home and to make a positive contribution to the world.
Check out the whole video below.
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