To be in the driving seat of our own destiny and to shape our own future is a natural desire. It is what we all hope for ourselves and it is what the SNP believes is right for Scotland.
We will achieve independence only when a majority of our fellow citizens are persuaded that it offers the best future for our country. Our success will depend on the strength of our arguments and the clarity of our vision. We have begun new work to persuade a majority of the Scottish people that independence is the best future for our country.
We won the 2016 Scottish Parliament election on a manifesto that said that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.
In June 2016 Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, while the UK as a whole voted to leave. Following the EU referendum, the First Minister made clear that the SNP Scottish government would explore all options to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, including a referendum on independence. If the UK is to leave the EU, we believe the least-worst deal for jobs and living standards would be to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union.
As Scotland’s government, we are using the limited new powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament to their full extent. We also continue to put forward the positive case for Scotland having the power to enact the change that we need, be it powers over social security, our economy, jobs or equality.
We continue to work for democratic reform too. We believe that the House of Lords is an affront to democracy and should be abolished. We will continue to call for the first past the post voting system to be replaced at Westminster with proportional representation, so that every vote and every part of the country counts. We have already extended the franchise in Scottish and local elections to 16 and 17 year olds and will use new powers to protect the voting rights of EU citizens too.