SNP independence campaign 'starts today', conference told

Angus Robertson Angus Robertson told the conference "we will work as hard as possible"

The SNP has officially launched its drive for independence, announcing details of an "unprecedented" campaign to win the forthcoming referendum.

Campaign chief Angus Robertson told his party's conference the SNP would appeal to people from all political backgrounds to secure a "yes" vote.

The campaign has also been boosted with a £1m bequest from Scotland's former national poet, makar Edwin Morgan.

The SNP will hold the referendum near the end of the five-year parliament.

The party is coming under pressure from opposition politicians to hold the vote now, but the Nationalists say they are sticking to a manifesto commitment to stage it later, although they have still to name the date.

Addressing the final day of the first SNP conference since its landslide election win in May, Mr Robertson said: "Today, we are announcing that the independence referendum campaign is starting.

"We will work as hard as possible in an unprecedented national campaign to secure the majority 'yes' vote for a sovereign independent Scotland."

Mr Robertson, the SNP's Westminster leader, said the campaign would first seek to galvanise backing among party members, before aiming to win support for independence among people from other parties, as well as those with no political affiliation.

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Work is under way to design an independence blueprint that can command popular support”

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The Moray MP said the party would also reach out to people and communities across Scotland, street-by-street.

Mr Robertson also said the £918,000 donation from Mr Morgan, who died last year at the age of 90, was "ring-fenced" for the referendum campaign.

He told the packed conference hall in Inverness: "Fellow nationalists - this is it. It's starting.

"This is the roadmap to independence - the biggest ever campaign in our history, reaching every household, every voter in Scotland.

"We will speak with as many voters as possible - supporters, waverers and people who have yet to be convinced."

Mr Robertson declared: "This campaign is not for the SNP - it is a campaign for Scotland.

"This is a campaign for everyone who lives in this country, regardless of where you come from.

"This is a campaign to secure the best for our communities. This is a campaign to secure the best for our families and society.

"This campaign is for everyone, regardless of which party you have voted for."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    Beam me up! What is the point of all of this nonsensical cross border exchange of insults. Talk about playground rhetoric. There are Scots living in England and English living in Scotland - as there are in every country. Does it matter where you come from so long as you contribute with enthusiasm to the country of your choice? Come on, let's debate like adults and stop this childish nonsense.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    If the Scottish people want independence then let them have it and good luck to them. There's no need for some of the petty and bitter comments on here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Those expressing negatives views about Scottish support for the SNP, Mr Salmond and full independence ignore the SNP's resounding victory, awarded by all of the people of Scotland. It is not about hating the English, or capitalism, it is about the right to have a government which is elected by and representative of the people. Westminster is not that Government, It never has been.

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Are we not stronger standing together than apart? Is that not what we should have learnt through the EU, the power of the UNITED states of America? I am a Londoner, I have never visited Scotland, yet the idea of a Union Jack without the Scottish does make me sad. I question what good being the sixth richest country in the world (through a finite resource) Scotland would receive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    The Scots wanted union, the English didn't. Salmond is going about this the wrong way. Instead of trying to pursuade the Scots to do something that is not in their best interests, he should be lobbying for an English referendum on Scottish independence. The English would then wave the Scots a tearless goodbye.


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