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French newspaper puts spotlight on Scottish independence ahead of SNP conference

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ONE of France’s main national newspapers this morning carries a preview of the SNP conference with a photo of Nicola Sturgeon speaking at The National’s rally last year.

Under the headline “I have never been so certain of achieving independence” the article in Le Monde shows the First Minister at the event in Glasgow.

The move comes amid calls for the Scottish Government to ramp up efforts to gain greater recognition internationally for the country ahead of a future independence referendum with rejoining the EU central to the constitutional debate.

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Last month the Irish TD Neale Richmond urged ministers to open offices in every European capital to prepare to rejoin the EU, while former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said they should set up its own base in Washington to win over more US support.

Le Monde underlined that the SNP “appears to be in a strong position ahead of the Holyrood elections in May” an highlighted her push to get a second vote on Scottish independence.

It said: “The SNP could win many seats in the decentralised Holyrood Parliament, which is responsible for making its own decisions about education, health and transportation. Mrs Sturgeon had promised in September to fix the terms and date of a second referendum on the independence of the British region before the poll, despite London’s refusal.”

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It added: “Such an election was already organized in 2014 and the Scots had then voted 55% to stay in the United Kingdom. Since then, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly ruled out allowing Scotland to hold a new referendum, arguing that it is a vote that comes ‘once in a generation’.

“But Nicola Sturgeon maintains that Brexit has changed the game for the Scots. The British region voted overwhelmingly in 2016 against leaving the European Union, adopted nationally and effective since the end of January.

“The people of Scotland have the right to choose their future,” she said on Saturday, “the question facing everyone in the May election is: who should make the decisions that shape our future?”

Le Monde is one of France’s leading national newspapers. It tends to be more left-leaning than its main rival Le Figaro.

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