Nicola Sturgeon blasted for endless quest for independence
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Holyrood ministers have not contacted the EU about the membership process, it has emerged, which has prompted concerns the SNP is not serious about its independence pledge. It comes as one of the election pledges made by Nicola Sturgeon referred to holding a second breakaway ballot in 2023, and the First Minister formed a coalition with the hard-left Greens in order to pass her referendum bill.
The SNP has often spoken about joining the EU as being one of the main reasons why Scots should vote for independence.
However, The Herald revealed that no approaches have been made via letter or email to contact EU ministers or officials in the European Commission to discuss Scotland joining the EU.
The outlet reports that the party is yet to reach out to Brussels to ask the important questions about how Scotland could reverse the Brexit vote and rejoin the bloc.
The lack of contact means clarity has not been sought on the process, timetable or requirements for re-joining the EU.
Other independence campaigners, including the Alba Party, have previously spoken out about how Ms Sturgeon’s party is under-prepared for the potential independence vote in 2023.
Alba MP Kenny MacAskill blasted the Scottish Government and constitution secretary Angus Robertson for touting his new book about the Austrian capital, Vienna, rather than focusing on independence.
He said: “This revelation seems to indicate a total lack of preparation, enthusiasm and commitment in preparing for the Scottish Government’s own timetable of an independence test in 2023.”
Mr MacAskill went on to add that in comparison to the preparation taken for previous referendums, the party appeared to be behind, or he claims “pre-occupied” with other tasks.
He claimed it is “long past time” for the Scottish ministers to “get serious” about independence, and regular meetings with the European Commission should have already taken place.
He said: “At the equivalent stage before the 2014 referendum, we were already six months into the Edinburgh agreement and intense efforts were taking place to explain Scotland’s case to a European and world audience.
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“Now the Scottish Government seems pre-occupied by removing Saltires from signage lest anyone think they are pro-Russian while the relevant minister produces a tourist guide to Vienna.
“It’s long past time for the Scottish Government to get serious about independence. They should be meeting regularly with the European Commission.
“This is completely ridiculous. SNP members will be upset. It displays a lack of activity by Angus Robertson who is supposed to be managing our international affairs.
“He should be having monthly meetings with the commission. He’s still rather invisible.”
The revelation came from a Freedom of Information request which found no letters had been written from the Scottish Government to ministers or officials in the EU from May 5 2021 to February 1 2022.
The FOI request instead simply found one letter from Hungarian MEP Istvan Ujhelyi, sent to congratulate Ms Sturgeon on the election result.
Within the letter, the Hungarian politician also expressed his sadness about Brexit.
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