Emma Roddick MSP: “We will fight the general election on independence.”

Emma Roddick at Scapa Beach with the sea of Scapa Flow behind her

There hasn’t been a dull moment in June – and I’m not just speaking about the sunshine that has been predominant between the downpours.

It is a month in which we have seen evidence revealed of how the ability of the Scottish Parliament to take decisions for the benefit of the people of Scotland has been consistently curtailed by the actions of the UK Government. And then Humza Yousaf outlined how a modern written constitution, which is developed by the people of Scotland, will help protect key rights and shape their newly independent country. Protection of the NHS in Scotland, and stronger protection for human rights and equalities are among these, along with workers’ rights – all set out in the latest Building a New Scotland prospectus paper.

And last weekend SNP members gathered in Dundee to lay out Scotland’s path to independence, given the persistent anti-democratic stance of the UK Tory Government, and indeed all the other Unionist parties.

Having voted SNP eight times since tasting defeat in the 2014 referendum, I am excited to see the route to negotiations for Scotland to become independent being mapped out.

When I was researching where to put my ‘X’ on 18th September 2014, I couldn’t believe that we had let ourselves, as residents of Scotland, go for so long being stuck in a system that is designed not to let us make the decisions we need to make the progress we want – towards a fairer, more equal country.

Now we see a route out, with support for independence significantly higher than it was during that referendum campaign.

The SNP, along with the wider Yes movement, will continue to build that support for independence. We will fight the general election on independence.

And when we win that General Election we will seek negotiations with Westminster to give effect to that proposition.

As we map the final few stages on this path, I remember the words of Winnie Ewing, that beacon of hope for so many in the independence movement for decades, and who we sadly lost last week.

Ahead of the 2014 vote, Winnie said: “I’ve waited all my life for a meaningful vote. I’m old enough to appreciate having grandchildren, so I’m in a position to realise that it is vital for them to grow up in a fair society, where their aspirations are listened to and where they’re afforded the chances they need.”

Who could argue with that – or her now legendary campaign line: “Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on.”

I was delighted to join the Pride Edinburgh event on Saturday, being held towards the end of a very special Pride Month. In my role as Equalities Minister, I welcomed the launch of the LGBT Health and Wellbeing’s helpline to support survivors of conversion practices. The helpline is available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (12-9pm) and Sundays (1-6pm) by calling 0800 464 7000 or emailing helpline@lgbthealth.org.uk.

I want a Scotland that is inclusive and fair, and these kinds of projects are key in making this country a safe and welcoming place for all.

This is a regular column by SNP MSP Emma Roddick. All Highlands and Islands MSPs have been offered the same space in The Orkney News to share their personal views.

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