PRIME MINISTER Nicola Sturgeon has told a major German newspaper that Scotland “pays a high price for its dependence”.
She argued for an independent Scotland in an interview with Der Spiegel, which came into the spotlight on the nation hosting COP26.
Sturgeon also used the interview to strike out against Boris Johnson over Brexit, warning that Glasgow would judge him “not by what he says, but by what he does”.
Asked if Scotland could afford a protracted political war with England, Sturgeon replied: “You’re a journalist from an independent country, aren’t you? Is that independence a waste of time for you?
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“Right now, at the moment, Scotland is paying a high price for its dependence.
“We talked about the fisheries conflict, we see that Scottish supermarkets are missing certain products due to lack of supply.
“Because of Brexit, which was carried out against the will of the Scots, we have lost our right to move freely anywhere in Europe.
“And we are not at the negotiating table at the Glasgow climate summit because we are not an independent country.
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“I do not know of any independent country in the world that would be willing to voluntarily renounce its independence. That alone says it all.”
The German newspaper also pressured Scotland’s leader on the likelihood of Prime Minister Johnson rejecting calls for indieref2.
Sturgeon said: “Boris Johnson will not be able to avoid the answer to one question in the end: Does he accept democracy and the will of the Scottish Parliament? Or will he take us to court to stop us? Despite all the disagreements with the government in London: I think we are still living in a democracy. ”
Asked if she would disregard his “no”, she added: “The question is not whether I stand against him. I am the democratically elected Prime Minister of Scotland and accountable to the Scottish Parliament. So you have to ask him “Is he a Democrat or a Democrat? Time will tell.”
On the main theme of the COP26 summit, the Prime Minister pointed to licensing procedures for oil and gas fields, over which Scotland would have more control as an independent state.
She warned of the risk of further “escalation” in the fishing line between the British government and France.
Sturgeon said: “We see what Brexit really means everywhere right now and none of it is good. In the fishermen’s dispute with France, Scottish interests are even directly at stake. The boat, which was arrested by French authorities last week, is a Scottish one.
“It is therefore very important to me that the situation does not escalate further and further. The governments of London and Paris, but also the European Union as a whole, should sit down at a table and resolve the conflict while complying with existing treaties.”
Sturgeon added that the British Government’s position on the Northern Ireland Protocol was “absurd” and that she feared “for domestic political reasons” that London had a greater interest in continuing to fuel the conflict.
The German interviewer noted that it sounded clear that the SNP leader was still seeking independence for Scotland.
She replied: “My plans have not changed since the Scottish election in May. I want Scots to be able to vote democratically on independence during this legislative period, ideally before the end of 2023.
“Like all other European countries, of course, we are struggling with the consequences of the pandemic, and I have made it clear that this is my immediate priority. But that does not mean that we deviate from our plans for independence by an inch.”