*CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY*
The friendship and solidarity which Catalonia and Scotland enjoy - is one which is of the utmost importance to Young Scots for Independence and I am sure the Scottish National Party and indeed the people of Scotland.
It is therefore, a pleasure to be with you all today, to celebrate the National Day of Catalonia.
In 2016, Scotland voted overwhelmingly and unequivocally to remain in the European Union. The United Kingdom did not.
And each and every day, since that referendum result.
Scotland has been treated with contempt by Westminster.
And the SNP Scottish Government’s efforts to find compromise and protect the interests of the people of Scotland, who voted to remain in the EU - have been ignored.
We’ve seen the resignation of a Prime Minister, and the arrival of a new one - Boris Johnson.
We are watching, as the UK Government collapses, Ministers resign and Political Parties - tear each other apart.
All the while, we are hurtling towards a No Deal Brexit and crashing out of the European Union.
Scotland deserves better.
In 2014, we had a referendum on our future - and the possibility of Independence.
In that referendum, we were told lie after lie.
We were told - “the safest way to guarantee membership of the European Union, was to vote no to Independence”.
Scotland did. And it is now being ripped out of Europe - against its will.
By a dictatorial Conservative Prime Minister; who has no respect for democracy nor his colleagues in Parliament.
Therefore, for Scotland - we are at a crossroads.
We face the choice of Brexit Britain or an Independent Scotland.
In 2016, the SNP was clear, that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum: “if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will”.
Therefore, we’ve introduced The Referendums (Scotland) Bill – to provide a legal framework for the holding of referendums and for a referendum on independence, it is proposed that this would take place following a transfer of power, ensuring such a referendum could not be legally challenged.
It is essential the UK Government recognises that it would be a democratic outrage if it seeks to block such a referendum – indeed, any such stance would, in my view, prove to be utterly unsustainable.
Europe covers a population of around 500 million people – eight times the size of the UK alone.
It is much more than a free trade area.
The European single market is central to Scotland’s economy and place in the world.
The single market ensures that people, goods and services can move freely anywhere within the EU.
This meant Scottish exports were worth an estimated £14.9 billion to the Scottish economy.
But crucially, for young people, it’s about doing what we are doing today - here in Barcelona.
Engaging and discussing.
It means the ability to travel freely, to work throughout the continent and to live and to love without barriers.
That is what Scotland wants; and that is what Scotland voted for.
Brexit has shown that Westminster is broken.
It is time for the Scottish Parliament to take charge of Scotland’s Future.
It is time for Scotland to be an independent country; in Europe.
Caminem junts cap a la Independencia!