Nicola Sturgeon sends message to EU citizens in Scotland
Ms Sturgeon was questioned after declaring the SNP will hold a second referendum if it wins next year’s Holyrood elections. Amid the chaos caused by coronavirus, Ms Sturgeon was also asked over the timing of an independence vote considering the economic hardship which is expected. In an audacious attempt to build bridges with Europe, Ms Sturgeon declared Scotland would be “coming home” if the public declared their desire to re-join the bloc.
During the interview, German publication Die Welt, warned Ms Sturgeon, enthusiasm for new entrants to enter the bloc is not high at the moment.
And Scotland’s performance in combating everything from coronavirus deaths to drug addiction was also panned.
Despite the EU expansion warning, Ms Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s accession is not an enlargement.
“We have been members for most of my life.
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“Scotland is coming home, this is not a new beginning.
“We can act as a bridge between the UK and the EU, bringing people together.”
Although the Scottish people voted to remain in the UK in 2014, Ms Sturgeon declared there would be a “quick accession” to the bloc following a second vote.
In a blow to her independence hopes, Ms Sturgeon was also quizzed on how the SNP has handled the country’s health system.
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Although the SNP has full autonomy over the health system, Ms Sturgeon was quizzed in particular on the number of coronavirus deaths and drug addiction in the country.
One journalist said: “Be it the number of Covid deaths, be it the number of drug addicts, Scotland often comes off badly above average.
“You have autonomy in the health sector. Nationalism isn’t the solution, is it?”
In response, the First Minister said: “I don’t accept that approach.
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“We are not perfect, we have a lot of work to do in many areas.
“Child poverty is too high here, for example, because London has the say over the social system.
“So independence is part of the answer.
“My party is called the Scottish National Party.
“But the term nationalism has all sorts of connotations that have nothing to do with my party and our independence movement.”
Just this week, the SNP’s Public Health Minister, Joe FitzPatrick, has come under scrutiny following the release of shocking details in relation to Scotland’s drug problem.
According to figures from the National Records of Scotland, there has been a six percent increase in drug-related deaths from 2018.
Scotland recorded 1,264 drug-related deaths which is higher than all EU countries and three times higher than the rest of the UK as a whole.
The SNP has also come under criticism following the contracts for the Glasgow and Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh.
In 2015 the Glasgow Hospital opened amid fears some deaths had been linked to infections.
A review has stated some patients had been exposed to higher risk but ultimately concluded there had been serious problems with the design of the campus – although they have now been remedied.
The Hospital for Children and Young People shad been due to open in June this year but will now open in 2021.
The £150million hospital has cost an additional £16million in repair costs after errors were found in the ventilation system.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.
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