Day One at #SNP19
SNP Spring Conference got underway today in Edinburgh, welcoming 3,000 delegates.
🏴 That’s a pretty large queue outside #SNP19. pic.twitter.com/99wD0vodFa
— Ross Colquhoun (@rosscolquhoun) April 27, 2019
Conference got off to a hopeful start with the announcement of a new poll showing support for independence has risen to 49%.
The Yougov/Times poll also showed the SNP taking a 25-point lead in the run-up to European Elections, putting both the party and the movement on a strong footing for the months ahead.
🏴 New YouGov/Times poll on Scottish independence:
YES – 49%
NO – 51%#ItsTime pic.twitter.com/nM4rOszdF8
— Yes (@YesScot) April 27, 2019
Conference opened with a Welcoming Address by Michael Russell MSP, Minister for Government Business and Constitutional Relations. Russell has been at the forefront of defending Scotland’s place in Europe and highlighted the growing need for Scotland to forge its own distinct path as an independent country.
He also spoke about the need to reach out constructively to those who have disagreed with independence in the past, and encourage everyone who lives here to play their part in building a new Scotland.
📢 @Feorlean: "We need to encourage everyone who lives here to play a part in building our new national story.
We won’t do so by ignoring them, or by insulting them, or by challenging them in ways to which they simply cannot respond." #SNP19
— The SNP (@theSNP) April 27, 2019
Read Michael Russell’s full speech to conference here.
Over lunch time, several fringe meetings took place, where members gathered to discuss present issues such as the impact of Tory austerity, EU citizens’ rights in the wake of Brexit, tackling climate change, and much more.
🇪🇺 Standing room only in a packed fringe meeting at #SNP19, with @joannaccherry and @AlynSmith affirming our vision of an indy Scotland that's inclusive, outward-looking and internationalist.
We send a loud message to our EU citizens: you are, and always will be, welcome here! pic.twitter.com/ApyWlugVUR
— olaf stando (@olafdoesstuff) April 27, 2019
The afternoon session opened with an address by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP, highlighting the damage caused by Brexit and the need for Scotland to open up new and inclusive dialogue about its future.
📢 @JohnSwinney: "The events of the last six months at Westminster have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the UK political system has failed – and it has failed Scotland utterly." #SNP19 pic.twitter.com/Bt61MQ1pT1
— The SNP (@theSNP) April 27, 2019
Swinney also celebrated the SNP’s achievements in Government, such as introducing the Baby Box, which now has a take-up rate of 96%, giving every child the best possible start in life.
Read John Swinney’s full speech to conference here.
In the afternoon, Conference debated the findings of the Sustainable Growth Commission, a set of proposals designed to let Scotland reach its full potential and match the success of other small, independent nations. Proposals included plans for Scotland to keep the pound for a transitional period before adopting to its own independent currency.
The Hall @theSNP Spring Conference is packed full, no free seats in main hall at all listening to @DerekMackaySNP on the Sustainable Growth Commission resolution. #SNP19 #ItsTime pic.twitter.com/IpZkEhzIPA
— Margaret Ferrier SNP (@MargaretFerrier) April 27, 2019
Conference passed the resolution in support of the Sustainable Growth Commission, with an amendment that the parliament of an independent Scotland will decide when a new currency is best practicable.
Great debate at #SNP19 on economy and currency. Amendment urges progress as quickly as practicable, and six tests to ensure solid foundation for decision are endorsed. We can move forward now with confidence to make the case for Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) April 27, 2019