San Francisco, California. The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon will discuss the issue of independence in a speech – entitled “Scotland’s place in the world” – to an audience at the prestigious Stanford University in California. An American state that has openly discussed it’s own desires for independence from the United States recently. She will also focus on her party’s opposition to Brexit. Sturgeon will also speak at the United Nations on the issue of support for women in conflict and sign a joint agreement with the Governor of California on climate change.
The Scottish and UK Governments disagree strongly over Sturgeon’s call for a second independence referendum in response to Scotland voting overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union. Sturgeon wrote to Theresa May last week to formally request a second Scottish independence referendum after MSPs voted 69 to 59 in favour of seeking permission for a vote to take place between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. However, the UK Prime Minister has said that ‘now is not the time’ for a second vote.
On Tuesday, she is due to address academics and students at Stanford University in California, one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions.In her first overseas trip since Holyrood backed ‘Section 30’ talks with the UK Government, Sturgeon will visit New York and California in a bid to boost trade and investment. However, the trip will also have a sharp political edge.
Experts agree the challenge will be to bring these two things together: to state how vibrant and welcoming Scotland is, and assert its right to self-determination, while also signalling the kind of caution and moderation required to make sure that Scotland does not look too unpredictable or chaotic in its efforts.