The meeting is to be held in the early part of next month
ACTIVISTS have welcomed news of a meeting that first minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will have with the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC).
It was reported in yesterday’s National that the first minister will meet with leading independence campaigners as early as the beginning of next month, in an effort to “engage with the wider independence movement”, the newspaper said.
This comes after the loss of 21 seats across Scotland at the General Election in June, including those of Westminster leader Angus Robertson and former First Minister Alex Salmond, and subsequent debate withing the independence movement about the best strategy moving forward.
“We believe the next campaign should be led by people, with politicians allowing space for groups to explore and develop their own vision of an independent Scotland.” Victoria Heaney, Women for Independence
Following the election, Sturgeon put the brakes on plans for a second independence referendum and announced the Scottish Parliament would not seek a section 30 order – the legal instrument needed in order to call a second referendum – straight away, despite the parliament passing the proposal earlier this year.
In her 27 June statement to the Scottish Parliament, the first minister said: “I am therefore confirming today that, having listened and reflected, the Scottish Government will reset the plan that I set out on 13 March.
“We will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum immediately. Instead, we will, in good faith, redouble our efforts and put our shoulder to the wheel in seeking to influence the Brexit talks in a way that protects Scotland’s interests.”
Campaign sources quoted by the National said the meeting was to discuss how to “move forward the case for independence in the current political landscape”.
It is unclear who will attend the meeting or what will be discussed.
“We believe it is important that we offer activities, advice, research and a forum for discussion for the Yes movement in the months ahead.” SIC spokesperson
Victoria Heaney, national committee member for Women for Independence, said: “We are glad to be meeting with the first minister of Scotland under the SIC umbrella, to discuss how to engage in the wider debate regarding the next referendum.
“We believe the next campaign should be led by people, with politicians allowing space for groups to explore and develop their own vision of an independent Scotland.”
A Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) source told CommonSpace that it had been looking to set up a group that crossed the Yes movement for the last few months.
Former chair of Labour for Independence, Alex Bell, said: “We are willing to listen to what Nicola Sturgeon has to say. We need to get party politics out of it. When party politics is involved then people tend to get tribal.”
When approached by CommonSpace, the SNP responded only by saying: “We are part of the convention so there’s regular contact.”
A spokesperson for the SIC told the National: “We believe it is important that we offer activities, advice, research and a forum for discussion for the Yes movement in the months ahead.
“To do that we must build broad consensus across the movement including the pro-independence parties before we make any of our plans public.”
The Convention was founded in 2005, but after a period of inactivity was brought back last year, uniting pro-independence political parties and organisations, such as the SSP, SNP, Radical Independence Campaign, Women for Independence and the Common Weal think tank.
The SIC held its annual conference in January of this year in Glasgow, attended by 800 people, hosting speakers such as Tommy Shepherd MSP, Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie, Communities Secretary Angela Constance and Common Weal director Robin McAlpine.
At the conference, different policy ideas were floated for an independent Scotland including the need for a Scottish currency, as well as the possibility for public input into the constitution of an independent Scotland.
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