Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the Scottish First Minister’s announcement on introducing a new bill on Scottish independence “got the loudest applause of the afternoon” from SNP MSPs. He added: “That tells you all about their priorities.”
Ms Sturgeon has faced criticism for announcing her plans to rip Scotland from the Union in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the nation battles the invisible killer disease, the SNP leader used Brexit to desperately push her agenda, describing it as describing it as “an act of self-sabotage which we do not understand”.
The First Minister insisted Brexit “and the way in which it is being implemented” by the UK Government “immeasurably strengthens the case for Scotland becoming an independent country”.
The SNP has been accused of exposing its real ‘priorities’
Sturgeon has been attacked for publishing independence legislation “in the middle of a pandemic”.
She said Westminster’s failure to seek an extension to the transition period, forcing this to come to an end at the end of this year, is an “act of self-sabotage which we do not understand”.
She told MSPs a new draft Bill will be drawn up setting out the timing and terms for a new independence referendum, as well as the question to be asked to voters if it is given the green light by Westminster.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Nevertheless, Brexit demands that we work in partnership with business, the third and public sectors to make sure Scotland remains an attractive location for inward investment.
Nicola Sturgeon announced her roadmap to drag Scotland out of the UK
“I can therefore announce today that we will publish, before the end of this year – as an accompaniment to our export strategy – a new inward investment plan with the aim of creating 100,000 high-quality jobs over the next decade.”
“At next year’s election, we will make the case for Scotland to become an independent country and seek a clear endorsement of Scotland’s right to choose our own future.”
Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross attacked Ms Sturgeon for publishing independence legislation “in the middle of a pandemic”.
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Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to publish an independence bill before next year’s election
Sturgeon used Brexit to push her case for independence
He said Ms Sturgeon “just doesn’t get it” and “needs to leave the Holyrood bubble and get back into the real world, where people are fearful of losing their jobs”.
He tweeted: “The First Minister just doesn’t get it.
“We need to take Scotland forward and recover from this crisis together, not go back to the divisions of the past.”
The SNP is desperate to take Scotland out of the UK
Meanwhile Labour’s shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said the proposed draft Referendum Bill was a “reckless announcement” which shows the First Minister’s “top priority is to divide the people of Scotland”.
The Labour MP said: “All her focus should be on post-COVID recovery, not returning to the old politics of division that will harm Scotland’s society and economy.