Scotland's SNP to start rebuilding independence campaign this summer

Saturday 12 March 2016 19.59
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaking at the SNP spring conference in Glasgow today
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaking at the SNP spring conference in Glasgow today

The Scottish National Party (SNP) will start building a new case for independence from the United Kingdom this summer, party leader and Scottish government head Nicola Sturgeon said today.

However, Ms Sturgeon said that a second Scottish referendum after the one the party lost in September 2014 would not take place quickly.

"We want to be in the driving seat of our own destiny," Ms Sturgeon told 3,000 delegates at the SNP's spring conference.

"We will not achieve our dream of independence just by wishing that the outcome of the referendum had been different. Or wishing we could do it all again next week."

"This summer the SNP will embark on a new initiative to build support for independence," she said, to a standing ovation.

Senior British politicians have said that if Britain votes to leave the European Union in a June vote but Scots show they want to stay, this could provide a trigger for a second Scottish secessionist drive.

Success would depend on the strength of the arguments for independence this time around, Ms Sturgeon said, a nod to the fact that some party insiders criticised the last campaign for being too dependent on the value of North Sea oil.

Scots voted 55% to 45% against independence in 2014, but the collapse of the Labour and the Conservative parties vaulted the SNP to unprecedented gains in the British national election in 2015, where it won almost all the seats assigned to Scotland in the parliament at Westminster.

Keywords: scotland, snp