Nicola Sturgeon announces post-independence investment of £20bn

Independence was naturally high on Sturgeon's agenda, all eyes now turn to the Supreme Court, which will this week consider whether the Scottish Parliament has the power to hold a second referendum. ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith reports

Investment of £20 billion will be delivered in the first decade of Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Ms Sturgeon addressed delegates as she closed the SNP conference at the P&J Live arena in Aberdeen on Monday, giving a glimpse into proposals that will be set out in an upcoming paper from the Scottish government.

The third report in its “Building a New Scotland” document series will be released next week and will focus on economic issues.

The Building a New Scotland Fund will be set up with remaining oil revenues and the use of borrowing powers in order to “kick-start the sustainable economic growth so important for our newly independent nation”, the First Minister said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that a vote for Scottish independence would be held on October 19 2023 if the Supreme Court approves of a referendum

She said: “A fund like this could support a massive programme to decarbonise housing, cut fuel bills and reduce fuel poverty.

“It could finance the building of thousands more affordable homes, invest in local renewable energy projects, helping communities own assets and wield more influence over their use.

“It will help the transition to net zero, build resilient communities, and kick-start the sustainable economic growth so important for our newly independent nation.”

Opening her speech she resolved to make Aberdeen "the net zero capital of the world".

ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith, at the conference in Aberdeen, on Nicola Sturgeon's speech

Ms Sturgeon told delegates that independence will create a “partnership of equals” in the UK, and said the nations of the UK and the Republic of Ireland will “always be the closest of friends, always be family”.

But she took a swipe at the UK government for “utterly failing” in its duty to mitigate the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

She told the conference: “When global turbulence strikes, national governments have a duty to act in ways that mitigate – rather than exacerbate – the impacts on their own populations.

“When it comes to the cost-of-living crisis, and so much else besides, this UK government is utterly failing in that duty.

“Each and every day its actions are making matters worse.”

She added: "It took the Tories three years - three long years - to realise Boris Johnson was a disaster. With Liz Truss, it took them just three weeks."Ms Sturgeon also took at swipe at Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who had previously said it was her "dream" to see an asylum flight take off for Rwanda. 

The first minister countered and stated it is her dream "that we live in a world where those fleeing violence and oppression are shown compassion and treated like human beings, not shown the door".

Ms Sturgeon told the conference that she intends on being First Minister “for quite some time yet”.

She said: “For as long as I am First Minister – and by the way, conference, I intend that to be for quite some time yet – my job – our job – is not done.

“For as long as I am First Minister, I will do everything in my power to build the better Scotland we all want to see.”

The SNP leader also said an independent Scotland would protect the founding principles of the NHS by embedding a “universal NHS in a written constitution”.

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