SCOTLAND AT A CROSSROADS
"The SNP did not choose this situation. Last June 62% of Scots voted to remain in the European Union. Despite our willingness to negotiate Scotland remaining in the UK in return for also remaining in the European Single Market, Scotland has been completely ignored.
“We now face both a hard Brexit being imposed on Scotland against our will and a UK Tory Government for the foreseeable future; a government which does not act in Scotland's interests.
“Being dragged out of the EU and the Single Market with all the damage this will cause Scotland’s economy, shows that Scotland’s voice and interests have not been considered at Westminster, despite being assured in the past that Scotland is a 'valued and equal partner' in the Union. Scots were also told in the first referendum that the only way to stay in the EU was to vote NO to independence.
“Despite all this, the SNP Government offered a compromise to the UK Government. Scotland will reluctantly leave the EU if we can stay in the Single Market. However, the UK Government refused to even consider this compromise. Brexit will be a disaster for Scotland, making us poorer with lower living standards and fewer jobs.
“It is still, even at this stage, open to the UK Government to make this compromise.
“The job of the SNP Government is to do all it can to protect Scotland’s interests. When the Brexit terms are known, it will be for the people of Scotland – no one else – to decide the direction we should take before it is too late to change course. Therefore, the referendum on Scottish independence will be between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
“Before the people of Scotland make that choice we will set out the challenges and opportunities of an independent Scotland. In particular we will set out how to secure our relationship with Europe, build a stronger economy, a fairer society and forge a genuine partnership of equals across these islands.
“A referendum will only take place with the approval of the Scottish Parliament. The manifesto on which the Scottish National Party (SNP) stood said:
'The Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum....if there is a significant and material change in circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.'
"This has now come to pass.
“In the end, the people of Scotland will decide their own future.”