Sturgeon invited into separatist alliance by Canadian rebels bidding for Trudeau breakaway

Queen addresses Quebec Parliament in French in 1964

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Ms Sturgeon has vocal allies in Parti Québécois – who advocate Quebec gaining independence from Canada – it can be revealed as her Scottish National Party (SNP) navigate the final stretch before Holyrood’s May elections. It comes as Ms Sturgeon and her Scottish National Party (SNP) navigate the final stretch before Holyrood’s May elections. She hopes to secure a majority in the Scottish Parliament, an event which she says will provide her with the mandate to hold a second independence vote.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to transfer Holyrood the necessary powers to do so.

Now, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the separatist Parti Québécois in Canada, told Express.co.uk that “the door is always open” for Ms Sturgeon to ally with Quebec.

In his first interview with a British or European media outlet since becoming leader last year, Mr St-Pierre Plamondon said: “I’m really much inspired and interested by everything the Yes campaign in Scotland has done.

“In our considerations what happens in Scotland is very interesting.

“But my evaluations of our upcoming year is that as a priority we need to have our own campaign for the Yes.

“The door is always open if we can be useful to any of our friends around the world in a similar quest towards democracy and self determination, anything we can do we will.”

Mr St-Pierre Plamondon’s Parti Québécois is pushing for its own independence referendum, in what will be a third ballot.

Like Mr Johnson in the UK, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is opposed to the idea.

Aged 18 and studying at a Montreal community college, Mr Trudeau was interviewed by CBC News while campaigning for federalism in Quebec during the state’s 1995 independence push.

When asked if he cared about what his peers thought of him – who overwhelmingly supported independence – Mr Trudeau shrugged and said: “Everyone’s got peer pressure at this age, I mean there’s pressure to smoke, there’s pressure to do all sorts of stuff, and I’ve never been affected by peer pressure.”

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The line was and still is akin to his father’s, Pierre Trudeau, who was the Prime Minister of Canada from 1968 to 1984 and successfully prevented Quebec’s independence vote in 1980.

Controversially, US State Department documents recently released suggest the late Trudeau may have asked one of Quebec’s top business leaders to “make it as tough as possible” for the newly elected Parti Québécois government in 1976, and to quietly move jobs out of the province.

Mr Trudeau’s office has not yet commented on the issue.

While Mr St-Pierre Plamondon has not himself spoken with the SNP, his predecessors welcomed the party ahead of its 2014 referendum vote.

The SNP’s then Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, travelled to Canada to consult with key figures in the Parti Québecois.

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[ANALYSIS] 

Alex Salmond, who was the Scottish First Minister, had hoped to learn from Quebec’s 1995 vote, where the party lost by just 53,000 votes, a mere percentage point.

And while Scottish separatists were hoping to take home some special formula, pro-Union figures, who also travelled to Canada, came back more successful.

A senior Downing Street adviser at the time visited the dominion as the UK considered how to block independence and sought Canada’s advice.

Many pro-independence figures in present-day Scotland fear that Ms Sturgeon’s Salmond crisis could hinder support for independence.

But Mr St-Pierre Plamondon is adamant that nothing can stop the mood for a breakaway “once it’s out of the box”.

Yet, Robert Johns, Professor in Politics at Essex University who is an investigator on the Scottish Election, is less sure.

He told Express.co.uk that should Scotland follow in the same footsteps as Quebec and lose for a second time, independence would be “much weakened”.

Professor Fielding said: “If there were to be a second independence referendum and it lost, that would be a massive moment and blow for the SNP.

“I don’t think they would disappear, there would still be a place for the party that advocated Scottish independence, but it would be much weakened.

“Everybody talks about Quebec in this context where they lost a first referendum, and had another about a decade or so later.

“When they lost the second one the issue just sort of died, and I think that would happen to the SNP.

“How long the SNP can continue should they fail really lies in the hands of the other parties.”

Recent polls have been unfavourable to Quebec independence, with a Leger poll late last year suggesting just 36 percent would vote to break away from Canada.

In Scotland, the figure is somewhere nearer to around 50 percent, although polls in the wake of the Salmond crisis suggest popularity for breaking away might be declining.

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