Joanna Cherry calls on Nicola Sturgeon not to delay new independence case

In her first column for The National after returning to public office after a period of leave to focus on her health, she called for detailed work on what an independent Scotland should look like.

She cited the economic argument, the timing of EU membership and how cross-border trade is handled with the UK by the new state.

During the election campaign, the prime minister was pressed on these issues by journalists and political opponents and said an updated white paper would be released giving detailed information ahead of a new vote.

The Scottish government wants a second referendum to take place – with or without the agreement of the UK government – in the new legislature, with the PM saying it should take place by the end of 2023 as long as the crisis continues of Covid will be passed.

However, she also made clear that her immediate and first priority was to fight the pandemic.

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Writing in The National today, Cherry acknowledged the critical importance of dealing with the pandemic, but argued that other Cabinet ministers should make progress in preparing the basis for the referendum “without delay.”

“And so the arguments in favor of independence are reinforced,” she wrote, referring to the election again of a pro-independence majority of deputies in Holyrood.

‘But it is really time to put a little more meat on the bones of what an independent Scotland would look like and have answers ready to the big questions that not only the media, but also voters will be asking reasonably reasonably in the process. a second campaign for independence. ”

She added: “So I hope that from now on the independence debate will be more about politics than process.

“During the election campaign, the Prime Minister indicated that the Commission on Growth report needed to be reviewed and that in the aftermath of Brexit and the pandemic there was work to be done on the economic arguments in favor of independence, the timing of Scotland’s EU membership and how we manage cross-border trade with the rest of the UK.

“I look forward to hearing who the FM will take on this work before the start of the next referendum campaign for independence and I hope to be able to make a useful contribution.”

She continued: “The death of an otherwise fit and healthy young woman from Covid earlier this week shows the FM is right to put pandemic management and Covid recovery high on its list, but there should be room for others in the cabinet to set the stage for indyref2 without further ado. ”

In her column, Cherry, who was sacked by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford from his role as the party’s justice and home affairs spokesperson, also spoke of the mess caused by Rangers fans in Glasgow over the week -end last.

She said that “the behavior dishonored our country” and “it is imperative to fight against this bigotry and racism”. She also raised concerns about policing fans.

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Hundreds of Rangers supporters crowded into the city center last weekend after the team’s victory in the Scottish league.

Brawls broke out between them, with supporters chanting sectarian, anti-Irish and anti-Catholic slurs as they turned the center of Scotland’s largest city into a no-go zone for other citizens. Fans were also filmed urinating in public.

“This behavior dishonours our country. As Scotland seeks to take its place on the world stage, it is imperative to tackle this fanaticism and racism, especially as the racism is directed against one of our most important European allies. She said of Ireland, a potential key ally in Scotland’s campaign to join the EU.

“There is also the risk that Scotland’s reputation will suffer serious damage internationally if this emboldened anti-Catholic hatred seeks to manifest itself during His Holiness Pope Francis’ planned visit to the COP26 summit in Glasgow. . ”

She added, “I’m not alone in being struck by the contrast between policing these fans and other bands in our society. This contrast is so stark that it is reasonable to question whether the principle of equality before the law is upheld by Police Scotland.

“I declare an interest as a person who is half Irish and brought up in the Catholic tradition, but if this behavior was directed at another religion or indeed any other minority in our society it would be considered intolerable. It is time to make the promise of equality for all a reality. ”

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