first minister of scotland

A timeline.

2014.  Scotland votes against independence.  Scotland potentially losing EU membership a key plank of the ‘No’ campaign.

2015.  Scotland votes in 56 out of a potential 59 SNP MPs to Westminster in a first past the post voting system (50% vote share).  Tory party gets a majority due to English seats with a 37% vote share.  They will implement a referendum on EU membership as stated in their manifesto.

2016 (May).  The SNP win 46.5% of the constituency vote giving them 59 seats (First past the post) and 41.7% of the regional vote giving them an extra 4 seats (D’Hondt method). This makes them a minority government, however with the Scottish Green Party there is a pro-independence majority. 

(Important note:  In the SNP manifesto it stated that if the Scotland votes to stay in the EU but, as a whole, the UK votes to leave this will be ground for the SNP calling a 2nd independence referendum.)

Pre-EU ref 2016.  SNP try to get David Cameron, Prime Minister at the time, to agree that the UK will only leave the EU if all four constituent nations vote to leave.  This is dismissed.  It is a point in the campaign that a vote to Leave the EU might jeopardize the UK & lead to renewed calls for a Scottish independence referendum.

2016 (June).  England and Wales vote to leave the EU.  Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to remain.  The Leave vote wins.

Post-EU ref 2016.  David Cameron resigns, Theresa May takes over as Prime Minister.  The SNP try to work out a situation where it can remain in the EU but England & Wales leaves.  This is dismissed.  The Tory party begin to make it seem like a ‘hard Brexit’ will occur.  The SNP suggests Scotland staying in the single-market so it can retain the free movement of people.  This is dismissed.  Westminster does not work with any of the devolved parliaments, leaving them in the dark about Brexit plans.  The Tory party begins to make noises about their being no post-EU deal at all. 

2017.  Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the SNP, after seeing that there is no way Scotland can remain in the EU and potentially even the single market begins to implement a part of the manifesto in which her government were elected in on.

The Tory government:

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

Ramble 001 // Saor Alba

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, announced today her intention to bring about a second referendum on Scottish independence. If, Sturgeon, guides the nation to the polls at her earliest proposed date (Autumn 2018), then Scotland would have tackled the question of independence, and everything else that comes with it, twice in four years. Given the turmoil of Brexit, the same voters as a few years ago will have greater influence on Scotland, and Scotland’s future, than they did last time around.

A lengthy and long post could be written on the mandate for such a referendum alone, in short, I believe there have been significant enough political changes to warrant the nation being asked once more about independence. The nation’s vote to remain in the EU is reason enough, given the seismic changes it will inflict upon Scotland going forth.

The future is at the core of this second proposed referendum. Nicola Sturgeon, rather bravely with aplomb, showed that Scotland have little hand in their own future. When Sturgeon pointed out that even though she is the First Minister of Scotland, had no idea when article 50 would be triggered, which was rumoured to be tomorrow. As the elected head of the Scottish parliament, Sturgeon should know this scant amount of information. In one example Sturgeon pointed out a dark picture, one that citizens in Scotland should pay heed to. If the most powerful politician in the land cannot even secure the knowledge of the date of article 50s triggering, how much influence do you suspect this person, their government and their nation will have in the ensuing negotiations on exiting the EU. None. It is likely the UK government will respond by stating they will further bring Scotland into the negotiation fold, if they do, we would be stupid to believe them, even more foolish to forgo a referendum, as the UK government have proven themselves to be a two-faced overlord to Scotland of late.

A Scottish referendum will undoubtedly thrown a spanner in UK government plans. Articles have already highlighted that the civil service is stretched thin, and when EU exit negotiations begin, the civil service will be worked to the bone. Another referendum will only enhance this workload, so much so, that the UK government may find it in their favour to push for a post-exit referendum. Indeed, it could be spun quite well, offering citizens in Scotland the chance to sample post-exit life, before throwing away the union. It’s how I would spin it.

Sturgeon has struck first, because she had to, but can independence be secured. The key issue is how many no voters in Scotland’s first independence referendum were also Brexit supporters? This referendum will largely be asking one question of voters, how much does the EU and membership to it mean to you? And the lines here are not clear, staunch pro-independence supporters can abhor the EU just as much, and vice versa.

The weight of this referendum is huge. Before it was big, but there was an element of safety. Before, we had the security of landing back into the union and EU, now we have no safety net. Last time we were asked to jump and believe, now we’re asked to jump and believe or fall back and believe. This referendum will offer no status-quo, which is were voters will invariably head to when they’re unsure. We’re being sold two unknown quantities, as such a belief in ourselves as a nation is key, and this counts for both sides. We have to believe we can march into a post-Brexit world and succeed as an independent nation, or we have to believe we can forge forward as part of Britain in a post-Brexit world. The issue is, one of those options is driven by those who wish to give a voice to Scotland, the other by a force who would gag us. How confident can we be remaining part of the United Kingdom, when our masters blind us, gag us and expect us to march behind them, deaf to our words on where to tread next. If they can overlook us so easily in this momentous time in British history, they can overrun us when they secure their Brexit and turns their sights on Scotland and a centralisation of power. Leaving the UK is the only way to safe guard what we hold dear now, and it is the only way to at least have a vain attempt in forging our future. If you hold dear Scotland today, and tomorrow, then it is evident that a yes vote is the only option.

Northern Ireland and the Brexit

Not many in the mainland seems to grasp what this means for Northern Ireland. 

-Possible closed boarders. Meaning divided families, lost jobs, and overall ruining relationships with the South. 

- The good friday agreement AND the money paid to NI by the EU for peace time agreements, gone.

- A leave campaigning first minister. Where Scotland will be protected, because god bless Nicola Sturgon, Arelene Foster will ruin us. 

- The progress we were desperately making for abortion rights, gone. The EU convention of human rights no longer applies so the chance of us ever having legal, safe abortions is even more unlikely.

- Even harder to pass same sex marriage in NI. 

- Higher cost of living in a country which already incredibly expensive (no seriously, check out Belfast prices on anything its ridiculous).

- Loss of entertainment industry. Game of Thrones have already threatened to stop filming here which was one of the main things for our economy recovering.

- Further tensions and divides in an already hostile country. 

This Brexit is not funny. Especially for young people like me in Northern Ireland. We voted to remain and we’ve been fucked over anyway and our country is going to be seriously hit by this.

U.K. Minor Parties Slam 'Extreme' Brexit in Debate May Avoided

Four leaders of minor U.K. political parties criticized Theresa May’s approach to Brexit in a television debate ahead of next month’s general election that the prime minister herself declined to take part in.

As well as leaving the EU, May has pledged to leave the single market and customs union, while prioritizing curbs on immigration and freeing Britain from the jurisdiction of European courts. That stance is opposed by the Scottish National Party, the Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats, which fear the economic damage it could entail.

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“Theresa May is not just pursuing Brexit, she is pursuing a hard, extreme Brexit,” SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister in Scotland’s semi-autonomous government, said in the ITV debate late on Thursday. “Even today when she published her manifesto, she threatened again to walk away with no deal. That would be an economic catastrophe.’’

May called the surprise election citing the need to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations, which she said was being undermined by the opposition. On Thursday, she published the Conservative Party’s campaign platform, spelling out the approach to the divorce that she wants voters to endorse.

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“She is not enacting the will of the people; she has chosen to interpret it in an extreme way,” Liberal Democrat Party Leader Tim Farron said during the debate in Salford, northwest England. “The Brexit negotiations between Brussels and London over these next few months will lead to outcomes that none of us can predict for the time being.” 

He reiterated his party’s call for a referendum on the final Brexit deal, telling voters that “if you want to reject that deal, you must have the right to remain in the European Union.’’

‘Blank Check’

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, also declined to attend the debate, citing May’s absence. He didn’t escape the wrath of the four pro-EU parties, with their leaders blaming him for supporting May’s push for a hard Brexit by voting through her parliamentary mandate to begin divorce negotiations.

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“Not only did Labour give the Tories a blank check for a hard Brexit, they basically gave them a lift to the bank and helped them cash it in,’’ said the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas.

Read more on the main parties’ election programs.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood fretted about the future of manufacturing in Wales, saying Airbus SE, which employs 6,500 people at a wing assembly plant in north Wales, is unlikely to stay if tariffs are imposed on exports to the EU and imports from it. She also warned about the risks posed by wider trade deals the government might negotiate.

“We’re at risk of trade deals which would see our health service privatized, our agriculture sector decimated by cheap foreign imports and Wales drained of any power,” Wood said. Se said she’d fight to “make sure that the Tories don’t get away with an extreme Brexit that would cause serious harm for many people in many of our communities right throughout the U.K.”

It was left to the fifth participant in the debate, the U.K. Independence Party’s Paul Nuttall, to fight a lonely battle in favor of Brexit. He disapproved of May’s approach for other reasons: he thought she would “backslide.”

“I think she’ll sell out our fisheries,” he said. “There’ll be some sort of dodgy deal over freedom of movement as well and I think she’ll capitulate and we’ll pay a divorce bill as well.’’

He then erred by calling the Plaid Cymru leader “Natalie.” Not just once, but twice.

“I’m not Natalie, I’m Leanne,” she said disapprovingly.

More from Bloomberg.com

Read U.K. Minor Parties Slam ‘Extreme’ Brexit in Debate May Avoided on bloombergpolitics.com

Scotland invests $55 million in low-carbon projects

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced details of more than £43 million ($55.7 million) of investment in low-carbon infrastructure.

The investment – which is matched by at least £43 million from the private and public sector – will be spread across 13 projects in Scotland. These include an energy storage project in Shetland and low carbon heat networks in Stirling, Dundee, Clydebank and Glenrothes.

“These projects have great potential to help us tackle climate change, and remain at the forefront of low carbon and renewable innovation,” Sturgeon said on Wednesday. “They will also bring economic benefits – in terms of savings and jobs – to local areas across the country.”

Sturgeon went on to state that Scotland’s pattern of energy consumption had changed considerably over the last ten years. This had helped Scotland meet and exceed its 2020 target for cutting energy consumption six years early.

“We are determined to build on this success, and we are now seeking views on a new target through our draft Energy Strategy for 50 percent of our energy consumption – spanning heat, transport and electricity – to be met by renewables by 2030.”

Sturgeon’s comments were welcomed by environmental groups. “We’re delighted to hear the First Minister reaffirm her Government’s commitment to meeting half of Scotland’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2030,” Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said in a statement.

“A transformation in how we heat our homes and offices, how we travel to work and school, and how we power our industries will generate many social and economic benefits,” Gardner went on to add.

The Scottish government says that there are more than 58,000 jobs in the low carbon and renewable energy economy in Scotland, and that renewables are Scotland’s single largest contributor to electricity generation.



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Ok so there are a few awesome things here, but by far the best thing is the fact that nicola sturgeon, first minister of scotland and one of the most popular politicians in the uk, uses the winky face emoji

Nicola Sturgeon (b. 1970) is currently the First Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish National Party, the first woman to hold either position. She has been a member of the Scottish Parliament since 1999. She has been ranked as the second most powerful woman in the United Kingdom.

Before assuming leadership of the party, she was Deputy First Minister, as well as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, during which time she oversaw measures such as scrapping prescription charges and reversing A&E closures. Under her leadership, the SNP grew to be the most important and trusted party in Scotland.

A little "heads up!"

For those of you not quite getting it right:

The UK is made up of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.

Britain is made up of Scotland, England and Wales.

The majority of England and Wales voted to leave the EU. All areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU.

The deputy first minister of Northern Ireland now wants to call another referendum for reunifying the island of Ireland.

The first minister of Scotland is tabling a second independence referendum for Scotland.

Stop saying “Britain” voted to leave. It didn’t.

Thank you, thank you, and goodnight.

16 and 17-year-old Scots had a right to vote in the referendum - about 120,000 teens cats their ballots. This was truly a lesson of  for the World.

“It is important to say that our referendum was an agreed and consented process and Scotland has by a majority decided not at this stage to become an independent country, I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland." 

~ Scotland’s pro-independence leader and First Minister Alex Salmond thanked the voters who backed independence, saying they had changed the face of British politics forever.

  

Johann Lamont has resigned as leader of the Scottish Labour party, citing “the Westminster Labour party treating Scottish Labour like a branch office.”

Huh. If only there had been a way to permanently keep Westminster politicians out of Scottish politics. A vote, perhaps…