The First Minister is to open her party’s conference by saying the people of Scotland deserve better than Westminster chaos. The “shambles of Brexit” has strengthened the case for Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon has declared as the Scottish National Party (SNP) Conference opens in Glasgow.
She claims the case is stronger because Westminster is ignoring Scotland’s voice and undermining devolution with a power grab on the Scottish Parliament.
The First Minister was speaking after a march in support of independence saw thousands of people pack the length of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
Organisers of the All Under One Banner march, from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood, claimed tens of thousands took part, though there was no official confirmation.
The SNP conference opens with the party claiming it has become the second largest in the UK, pushing the Conservatives into third place.
Speaking ahead of the conference, Ms Sturgeon said: “At this most crucial time in the UK’s negotiations on its future relations with the EU, Labour and the Tories have fallen apart into bitter faction fighting.
“The shambles of Brexit makes the case for independence more compelling than ever – with Westminster ignoring Scotland’s voice and interests and undermining devolution with a power grab on the Scottish Parliament.”
Despite Ms Sturgeon’s claim, however, no debate in the main hall on a second independence referendum is scheduled at the three-day SNP conference.
Instead, the party is expected to focus on domestic issues such as the cost of living, improving the NHS and boosting jobs and wages.
In his controversial Russia Today TV show, condemned by many in his own party, Ms Sturgeon’s predecessor Alex Salmond accused the SNP leadership of being “cautious” on a second referendum.
The former first minister will not be attending the Glasgow conference, having resigned from the party in August following allegations of sexual misconduct.