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  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has now published the Referendum Bill and set the Scottish independence referendum date for 19 October 2023. (Article Below from yes.scot) Source: https://www.yes.scot/the-worlds-eyes-are-on-scotland/ After pro-independence parties won a record result in the 2021 election, there is a clear mandate for an independence referendum. Watch our video below setting out the facts. 1️⃣ Scottish Tory leader: “a vote for the SNP is a vote for another independence referendum”2️⃣ Scotland votes for #indyref2.3️⃣ Another independence referendum.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland will have a choice. Pledge your support at https://t.co/bkLETLnJTB. pic.twitter.com/iorBoMRpvk— Yes (@YesScot) June 28, 2022 As Scotland readies itself to choose its own future, media from across Europe and the world have their eyes on Scotland. It’s increasingly clear that the world recognises Scotland’s clear mandate for a referendum – and we’ve pulled together a selection of international coverage here. 🇫🇷 France France’s biggest newspaper Le Monde has published this article – you can read it here, in French or in English. 🇦🇹 Austria Austrian broadsheet newspaper Die Presse says “Boris Johnson’s Conservative British government tore Scotland out of the Commonwealth against its will and led the rest of Britain into a deep crisis”. Read the article here. 🇩🇪 Germany Germany’s English-language news service Deutsche Welle also published an article about the October 2023 referendum. Read it here. 🇮🇹 Italy Italian public broadcaster RAI News also covered the announcement, and talked about how Scotland being dragged out of the EU justifies a fresh independence referendum. Read the article. 🇪🇸 Spain Spain’s major broadsheet newspaper El Pais also covered Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum date announcement, and reported the “landslide victory” in the 2021 Scottish election. Click here to read the article. 🇦🇺 Australia Australia’s public broadcaster ABC News has also reported on the referendum announcement and stressed “there is a majority for a new independence vote”. Read the article here. 🇺🇸 United States of America One of the USA’s biggest and oldest newspapers, The Washington Post, reports that “much has changed in recent years, including Britain’s departure from the European Union. The majority of Scots voted to stay in the bloc.” Read the article.

  • Nicola Sturgeon’s full statement announcing the 2023 independence referendum First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has now announced the path to Scotland’s independence referendum, set the date to 19 October 2023, and published the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill. Read her full statement below, delivered in the Scottish Parliament on 28 June 2022. Presiding Officer, The campaign to establish this Parliament was long and hard. It was rooted in the belief that self-government would improve the lives of those who live here. And so it has proved. There were – and still are – honourable differences about the ultimate destination of Scotland’s self-government journey. But all who campaigned to establish this place were united in and by this fundamental principle: The democratic rights of the people of Scotland are paramount. That principle of self-determination was encapsulated by these words in the Scottish Constitutional Convention’s Claim of Right: “The sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.” When the late Canon Kenyon Wright – who led the Convention – addressed Westminster’s refusal to accept the democratic demand for a Scottish Parliament with this question: “What if that other voice we all know so well responds by saying, ‘We say no, and we are the state’?” His answer – “Well we say yes – and we are the people” – was simple but powerful. It is as relevant now as it was then. Last May, the people of Scotland said Yes to an independence referendum by electing a clear majority of MSPs committed to that outcome. The democratic decision was clear. Two weeks ago, the Scottish Government started the process of implementing that decision with the first in the Building a New Scotland series of papers. That paper presented compelling evidence of the stronger economic and social performance, relative to the UK, of a range of independent countries across Europe that are comparable to Scotland. That should be both a lesson and an inspiration to us. Scotland – over generations – has paid a price for not being independent. Westminster governments we don’t vote for, imposing policies we don’t support, too often holding us back from fulfilling our potential. That reality has rarely been starker than it is now. The Conservatives have just six MPs in Scotland – barely 10 per cent of Scottish representation – and yet they have ripped us out of the EU against our will. They have created the worst cost of living crisis in the G7, and saddled us with the second lowest growth in the G20. They are intent on stoking industrial strife, demonising workers and provoking a trade war. Businesses and public services are struggling for staff because freedom of movement has been ended. Our young people have been robbed of opportunity. Presiding Officer, the Scottish Government will do everything in our power to mitigate the damage. But that is not enough. Our country deserves better. And yet this Parliament, looked to for leadership by so many across Scotland, does not have the power to tackle the root causes of the financial misery being inflicted on millions. We lack the full range of levers to shape our economy and grow the country’s wealth. We are powerless to stop our budget being cut. We can’t block the Tories’ new anti-trade union laws, or stop them tearing up human rights protections. We’re not able to restore freedom of movement. And while we invest billions in measures to help with the cost of living, tens of thousands of children can be pushed deeper into poverty at the merest stroke of the Chancellor’s pen. Presiding Officer, it does not have to be this way. Independence is about equipping ourselves to navigate the future, guided by our own values, aspirations and interests. It is about helping us fulfil our potential here at home and play our part in building a better world. And that takes more than a changing of the guard at Westminster. I fervently hope that the Tories lose the next election. They thoroughly deserve to. But on the big policy issues of our time, from Europe to migration, to human rights and fairness for workers, Labour is more a pale imitation than a genuine alternative. Labour won’t take Scotland back into the EU or even the single market. And neither will the Liberal Democrats. They won’t restore freedom of movement for our young people. They won’t prioritise tackling child poverty over investment in nuclear weapons. Presiding Officer, independence won’t always be easy. It isn’t for any country. But it will give us the opportunity to chart our own course. To build a wealthier, greener, fairer nation. To be outward looking and internationalist. To lift our eyes and learn from the best. Presiding Officer, now is the time – at this critical moment in history – to debate and decide the future of our country. Now is the time to get Scotland on the right path – the path chosen by those who live here. Now is the time for independence. This parliament has a clear, democratic mandate to offer Scotland that choice. The UK government, however, is refusing to respect Scottish democracy. That is why today’s statement is necessary. The UK and Scottish governments should be sitting down together, responsibly agreeing a process, including a section 30 order, that allows the Scottish people to decide. That would be the democratic way to proceed. It would be based on precedent. And it would put the legal basis of a referendum beyond any doubt. That’s why I am writing to the Prime Minister today to inform him of the content of this statement. In that letter I will also make clear that I am ready and willing to negotiate the terms of a section 30 order with him. What I am not willing to do – what I will never do – is allow Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Boris Johnson or any Prime Minister. The issue of independence cannot

  • Today, we publish the first in a series of papers – “Building a New Scotland” – that will make afresh the case for Scotland becoming an independent country. An independent country better able to chart our own course here at home and – as the outward looking nation we have always been – play our part in building a stronger, safer, better world. Today, Scotland – like countries across the world – faces significant challenges. But we also have huge advantages and immense potential. The refreshed case for independence is about how we equip ourselves to navigate the challenges and fulfil that potential, now and in future. In their day to day lives, people across Scotland are suffering the impacts of the soaring cost of living, low growth and increasing inequality, constrained public finances and the many implications of a Brexit we did not vote for. These problems have all been made worse or, most obviously in the case of Brexit, directly caused by the fact we are not independent. So at this critical juncture we face a fundamental question. Do we stay tied to a UK economic model that consigns us to relatively poor economic and social outcomes which are likely to get worse, not better, outside the EU? Or do we lift our eyes, with hope and optimism, and take inspiration from comparable countries across Europe? Comparable neighbouring countries with different characteristics. Countries that, in many cases, lack the abundance of resources that Scotland is blessed with. But all of them independent and, as we show today, wealthier and fairer than the UK 🔷️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🔷️ Watch live: 'Building a new Scotland.'First Minister @NicolaSturgeon holds a press conference from Bute House, Edinburgh. Via @scotgov#ANewScotland https://t.co/N4IA74N2op— ScottishPoliticsNews 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (@ScoPoliticsNews) June 14, 2022 Today’s paper – and those that will follow in the weeks and months ahead – is about substance. That is what really matters. The strength of the substantive case will determine the decision people reach when the choice is offered – as it will be – and it is time now to set out and debate that case. After everything that has happened – Brexit, Covid, Boris Johnson – it is time to set out a different and better vision. It is time to talk about making Scotland wealthier and fairer. It is time to talk about independence – and then to make the choice. How we secure that choice – as we are committed to doing – is of course a highly pertinent question, so while today is very much about substance, let me address briefly the issue of process. I was re-elected as First Minister just over one year ago on a clear commitment to give the people of Scotland the choice of becoming an independent country. And the people of Scotland elected a Scottish Parliament with a decisive majority in favour of both independence and the right to choose. The Scottish Parliament therefore has an indisputable democratic mandate, and we intend to honour it. A referendum though, if it is to be deliverable, command confidence and achieve its objective, must be lawful. It is the parties opposed to independence who would benefit from doubt about a referendum’s legality. These parties don’t want to engage on the substance of this debate, because they know how increasingly threadbare their arguments are. So they prefer to cast doubt on the process. Those of us who relish the opportunity to make and win the substantive case for independence mustn’t let them do so. Of course, if this UK government had any respect at all for democracy, the issue of legality would be put beyond doubt, as in 2014, through a section 30 order. I make clear to the Prime Minister again today that I stand ready to discuss the terms of such an order at any time. But my duty, as the democratically elected First Minister, is to the people of Scotland – not to Boris Johnson or any Tory Prime Minister. 📢 Independent countries across Europe are wealthier and fairer than the UK, so #WhyNotScotland?🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 It is now time to set out and debate the substantive case for Scottish independence.✏️ Show your support at https://t.co/bkLETLnJTB pic.twitter.com/k6k9hLwpY0— Yes (@YesScot) June 14, 2022 This is a UK government that has no respect for democracy. And, as we saw again yesterday, it has no regard for the rule of law either. That means – if we are to uphold democracy here in Scotland – we must forge a way forward, if necessary, without a section 30 order. For the reasons I have set out, however, we must do so in a lawful manner. We know that in these circumstances the competence of the Scottish Parliament to legislate is contested. That is the situation we must navigate to give people the choice of independence. That work is underway and while I do not intend to go further into the detail today, I can say that I hope to give a significant update to Parliament very soon. The principles of democracy and the rule of law are fundamental. They should unite all of us, regardless of our politics. Indeed, democracy within the rule of law is how differences of political or constitutional opinion should always be resolved. The fact that these principles are now so deeply disrespected and disregarded, day and daily in the UK, is itself an indication of how broken Westminster governance is. It has become part of the argument for independence – and it is to that substantive case that I now return. The choice people arrive at on independence must be an informed one. The case we make must speak, not just to those who already support independence, but also – indeed even more so – to those not yet persuaded. It is an obvious point but one that always bears repetition – Scotland will only become independent when a majority of those who live here vote for it. It is in that spirit that we publish this first

  • Targeted funding to help mitigate the impact of Omicron. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced how £107 million is being allocated to support businesses impacted by the spread of the Omicron variant.

  • “For countries of Scotland’s size, independence works” First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tells the SNP conference that “democracy must, and democracy will prevail” as she confirms the timetable towards a new Independence Referendum. STV NEWS REPORT ‘Nicola Sturgeon will ask the UK Government to agree to another Scottish independence referendum “in the spirit of co-operation”. Scotland’s First Minister will tell SNP members that “democracy must – and will – prevail” to allow another vote on Scottish independence. Sturgeon, who is due to deliver the closing speech of the SNP conference shortly before midday, is expected to say that she hopes to adopt an approach of “co-operation not confrontation” in her attempts to secure a second referendum. The SNP leader has called for another referendum by the end of 2023 when the coronavirus pandemic is over, although the UK Government remains opposed to another vote.’ Read More: https://news.stv.tv/scotland/nicola-sturgeon-hopes-the-uk-government-will-co-operate-for-indyref2?top "For countries of Scotland’s size, independence works"First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon tells the SNP conference that "democracy must, and democracy will prevail" as she confirms the timetable towards a new Independence Referendum.pic.twitter.com/PYpJo3d8Vz— ScottishPoliticsNews 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (@ScoPoliticsNews) September 13, 2021 Nicola Sturgeon’s address to #SNP21 Conference 13/09/21 “This is the first gathering of the SNP since our election victory in May. So let me begin with a big, heartfelt thank you. Firstly, and most importantly, to the people of Scotland – thank you for again putting your trust in me as First Minister and in the SNP as your Government. As I say often, we don’t – and won’t – get everything right. But I give this guarantee. We will work as hard as we can to make your lives better and retain your trust. And thank you to SNP members across the country. You did so much to secure victory in what was an election like no other. You are the heartbeat of our party. You know, in recent months, I’ve attended far too many funerals of much loved party stalwarts. We miss them all. Most recently the SNP family bid farewell to our dear friend, and sheer force of nature, Calum Cashley – taken from us far too soon. Calum wasn’t a household name. He wasn’t an MSP or MP or councillor. But his tireless, energetic contribution to the cause of independence was immense. His brother said of him: “My brother was a man driven to see Scotland become all it could be. “It wasn’t just an independent Scotland he longed for, it was a better Scotland.” Calum, like all of you, worked day in, day out to bring about that better country. Let us take inspiration from his life and resolve that everything we do will be dedicated to making Scotland all it can be. And that word “all” is important. It is about everyone in Scotland. It is about those born here, and those who honour us by making this country their home. The Scottish election was the first time refugees and all foreign nationals with leave to remain had the right to vote. That was important for its own sake. But it is also a symbol of the country we are seeking to build. Open, welcoming, diverse. Refugees from Syria and elsewhere have settled in Alloa, on Bute, in Glasgow, in the Highlands, and many places in between. They are a part of who we are. They enrich our society in so many ways. We should take pride from the fact that people who came here to escape persecution and war could, often for the first time in their lives, exercise what should be a universal democratic right. One of the lessons that humanity seems destined to have to relearn time and again is that the rights we enjoy today can never be taken for granted. That feels especially true just now. But sadly for many people across the world – especially women and girls – these rights are still a distant aspiration. Not just the right to vote, but the right to go to school, to freedom of expression, to be treated equally. In recent weeks, we’ve heard heart-breaking stories from Afghanistan. And we have witnessed scenes of extraordinary bravery. People risking all in desperate attempts to save their children. Women demonstrating in defence of the most basic rights – in the face of a truly barbaric regime We can only imagine the courage that takes. In Scotland, we are committed to welcoming and supporting those fleeing the Taliban. The UK has a heavy responsibility, particularly to those who supported British interests over the past 20 years and now face mortal peril. They must not be abandoned. There must be a credible plan to bring each and every one to safety and security. And we also have a continued moral and humanitarian obligation to provide hope and support to those who remain, particularly those striving to preserve the progress of the last two decades. The Afghan crisis has also shone a spotlight on the UK Government’s wider asylum policy. I know that speaking out about this issue is not always popular. But offering asylum to those in dire need is an expression of our common humanity. The UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill fails that basic test of humanity. It could criminalise those seeking sanctuary from oppression simply for claiming asylum. The UN refugee agency says the bill would violate the 1951 Refugee Convention. These proposals are a stain on this Westminster government. They run counter to the kind of country we are seeking to build. And I look forward to the day when our asylum and migration policy is decided here in Scotland, not by a government in Westminster that sees it as an opportunity to show how tough it is, rather than how much it cares. Friends, In May, the people of Scotland placed their trust in us again: in our values, our beliefs, in our welcoming vision of Scotland and in the practical actions we are taking to improve lives. Their verdict was

  • This is the results page for the Scottish Parliament Elections held on the 6th of May 2021. The SNP will form the next Scottish Government – a historic fourth consecutive win for the party. Pro Independence parties also carried a majority of seats with the SNP and Greens winning 72 of the 129 seats in the parliament.

  • All 32 local authorities across Scotland have chosen to freeze council tax following a Scottish Government commitment to compensate those who do so. Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “With people facing unprecedented challenges and extra pressures, now is a time to work together to provide stability and certainty.

  • In the latest Scottish Elections Poll (released via The Scotsman and Savanta ComRes) predictions for the Scottish Parliament results in May show Independence supporting parties achieving a 19 seat majority at Holyrood.

  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially launched the Scottish National Investment Bank. It will be backed by £2bn of Scottish Government funding over the next decade Scot Gov: “It will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges Scotland faces now and in years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns.”

  • The Scottish Government have introduced new regulations via The Scottish Parliament on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all homes. Legislation due to come into effect will mean that the standards which currently apply to private rented property and new-builds will also eventually be extended to all homes in Scotland.

  • Statement on EU and UK Government talks by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Commenting on the EU and UK Government talks, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: It is beyond belief that in the midst of a global pandemic and deep recession the Prime Minister is telling Scotland to get ready for a disastrous No Deal Brexit.

  • In the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “This pandemic is not a war. Nations are not against other nations, soldiers against other soldiers. It is a test of our humanity.” These have been indeed the most testing of times for people in Europe and across the world.

  • ‘Internal Market Bill should be abandoned’ Parliament rejects consent for “deeply damaging” Bill. The Internal Market Bill should be withdrawn by the UK Government after consent for it was denied by a majority of the Scottish Parliament, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell has said.

  • Below is Nicola Sturgeon’s full statement to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, October 7th, regarding the implementation of additional COVID restrictions in Scotland.

  • First Minister media address to Scotland on 22 September 2020 on new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland. This speech is from the Gov.scot website and was broadcast live on tv and online in Scotland.

  • Below is Nicola Sturgeon’s full statement to the Scottish Parliament on the implementation of additional COVID restrictions in Scotland.

  • Spending proposals would “reverse devolution”. (17 Sept 2020) Finance Ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have met to discuss a range of fiscal matters and voiced their collective concerns about the financial implications the UK Internal Market Bill will have on devolved governments.

  • The Scottish Government has said it is impossible to recommend the Scottish Parliament gives consent to the UK Government’s Internal Market bill. (8 Sept 2020) The bill, which will be published by the UK Government tomorrow, engages the Sewel Convention, and therefore the UK’s constitutional rules require the consent of Holyrood.

  • Article by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon on yes.scot (6 Sept 2020) Independence is the normal form of governance for most nations in the world. Most of them take it, and the ability it affords them to take decisions in their own national interest, for granted. Being independent does not magically solve every problem a country faces, but it does allow the opportunity to deal with those problems in a way best suited to your needs. That is the essence of self-government – but Scotland does not yet have the ability to exercise those independent choices.

  • First Minister NicolaSturgeon: “As of 9am this morning, there have been 8,672 positive cases confirmed, an increase of 222 since yesterday. While I would still urge caution in interpreting these figures, I remain cautiously optimistic that, while the numbers being admitted to hospital are still fluctuating, they appear to be broadly stable. Secondly, the number being admitted to intensive care are reducing.”

  • Writer Article by Kat Cary 09/04/20: U.S. Politics 2020 Presedential Election I knew that this was coming, but the timing seemed off. About an hour before the campaign livestream, news broke that Senator Bernie Sanders was suspending his bid for the Democrat nomination. As I listened to the broadcast – tuning out from time-to-time as Bernie went through his greatest hits – something grabbed my attention. If you were to guess who he would quote, who would it be? If you are like me and thought it would be Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., give yourself a half-point because he quoted two individuals. The senator from Vermont reserved his initial quote for Nelson Mandela, and the words hit me like a punch in the gut, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”

  • April the 6th 2020 marks the 700th Anniversary of The Declaration of Arbroath and the claim of right of an Independent and sovereign Scotland. ANNIVERSARY FILM (Charlie Stuart / Lesley Riddoch) Documentary celebrating the Declaration of Arbroath on the 700th anniversary 6th April 2020

  • NHS Louisa Jordan The new NHS Scotland medical facility being created at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow is the NHS Louisa Jordan.

  • People advised to limit social contact (16/0320) Those most at risk strongly advised to reduce unnecessary contact. To slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) the general public are being asked to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary social contact. People over 70 and those who have high risk and underlying health conditions are being strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and significantly reduce unnecessary social contact. The advice is that people should: minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations and smaller gatherings such as restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, cinemas and gyms avoid using public transport as much as possible work from home when possible follow the latest health and travel advice, and follow basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing People showing symptoms suggestive of coronavirus should stay at home for seven days and only contact NHS 111 or their local GP if their symptoms worsen during that period. Members of a household where someone has suspected symptoms should stay at home for 14 days. This package of necessary measures comes into force with immediate effect. Schools will remain open for the time being, however this decision will be consistently monitored and reviewed depending on the spread of the infection. Those who cannot work from home should continue to go to work unless advised by their employer or if they display symptoms. These measures will be kept under constant review as we try to slow down the spread of the infection. The First Minister said: “Life as we know it will change in the coming weeks and months, but our goal is to protect lives. “We are facing an unprecedented situation that will require major societal change if we are to protect people, especially those most at risk and our NHS. “The package of measures we are announcing today is based on scientific and clinical advice. While it will cause some disruption and be difficult for us all, it will help us to prepare for the virus and to protect ourselves and each other in the long run. “We need your help to slow the spread of the infection. That is why we are advising everyone in Scotland to restrict their social contact and to stay at home as much as possible. We are strongly advising those who are over 70 or have an underlying health condition to stay at home. “People have a vital role to play in helping us contain this infection and I urge everyone in Scotland to follow the latest health and travel advice, and follow basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. “This has not been an easy decision but it is vital if we are to stop the spread of the infection.” THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE GOV.SCOT WEBSITE: https://www.gov.scot/news/people-advised-to-limit-social-contact/ Public should only contact GP or NHS 111 if symptoms worsen. LINKED INFORMATION: For those under 70 underlying health conditions refers to all those eligible for the flu vaccine. Those who have compromised immune systems will be contacted with specific advice in the coming days. Health Secretary Jeane Freeman will update the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 17 March on the Scottish Government’s plans to build up and scale up capacity in Scotland’s National Health Service. Read the COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings. Further additional guidance and information, including links to guidance for travellers and the general public, can also be found on HPS’ COVID-19 page. The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website. Common symptoms of coronavirus include: • fever or a temperature of above 37.8°C • persistent cough Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon @scotgov news conference update on #coronavirus 16/03/20pic.twitter.com/GCgT2qeKrZRead More: https://t.co/vxhTTA3PrN— ScottishPoliticsNews (@ScoPoliticsNews) March 16, 2020

  • (15/03/20) The Scottish Government has announced measures to increase and track the spread of Corona Virus in Scotland. This will allow for more detailed statistical analysis and help with measures to address relevant action to take in response. (The following Information is from the gov.scot website) Surveillance testing for COVID-19 (coronavirus) will be expanded to monitor the spread of the virus in the community. The programme will be extended to GP practices covering up to 1.2 million people across all health boards in Scotland. It will test people presenting with relevant symptoms, including with flu-like symptoms or general respiratory illness and underlying health conditions. It will also support the continued testing of people admitted to hospital with symptoms. People following the guidance to stay at home for seven days if they have mild symptoms of a new cough or raised temperature will not be routinely tested – and will continue to be advised to only phone NHS 111 or contact the GP if their condition worsens. Surveillance testing will provide real-time information on how the virus is spreading in Scotland, which will inform NHS planning and allow resources to be directed where they are needed most. Key workers such as NHS staff will continue to be tested if they show symptoms. Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has said. “This new approach to testing will enable us to understand the pattern and spread of coronavirus in the community, to develop a clear assessment of the situation and to predict the peak number of cases, without having to test everyone with possible symptoms. “Those with mild symptoms do not need to be tested. They should continue to stay at home for seven days and only contact their GP or 111 if their condition worsens. “Everybody has a role to play in helping contain this outbreak by following the latest health advice and basic hygiene precautions such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.” THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE GOV.SCOT WEBSITE: https://www.gov.scot/news/covid-19-testing-update/ Public should only contact GP or NHS 111 if symptoms worsen. LINKED INFORMATION: Chief Medical Officer’s letter to health boards. Read the COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings. https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2973/documents/1_COVID-19-Guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings.pdf Further additional guidance can also be found on HPS’ COVID-19 page. https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/ The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website. https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ Common symptoms of coronavirus include: • fever or a temperature of above 37.8°C • new continuous cough Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816. For anyone who is planning to travel abroad, guidance can be found on fitfortravel. Where a COVID-19 risk is identified, country pages will be updated. The NHS and government are well-prepared to deal with coronavirus (#COVIDー19). There are some simple steps you can take to help. Please watch and share this video ⬇️Follow @NHS24 for the latest health adviceLearn more ➡️ https://t.co/TJ6rCC8vKX pic.twitter.com/alrIaJ9ZA4— Scot Gov Health (@scotgovhealth) March 13, 2020

  • (14/03/20) The Scottish Government has announced a range of measures to assist business in Scotland during the #coronavirus outbreak. Immediate action in response to COVID-19. New measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Scotland have been announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. The following steps will be put in place to support businesses during the 2020-21 financial year: • a 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from 1 April 2020 • an £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19 • 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020 • a fixed rates relief of up to £5,000 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 from 1 April 2020 The Finance Secretary will also write to all local authorities urging them to respond positively to requests from rate payers for payment deferrals for a fixed period. Ms Forbes said: “COVID-19 will have challenging implications for businesses and the economy over the coming weeks and months. “As well as following the latest health and travel advice, it’s also crucial we consider the latest economic analysis and listen carefully to what the business community is telling us. We know that the tourism and hospitality sectors are facing immediate pressure, which is why we have directed support to them in particular. “All rate-payers will benefit from a relief that effectively reverses the planned inflationary uplift in the poundage that was due to come into effect in April. “The measures I’m announcing today will provide £320 million of assistance to Scottish business and ensures that all Non Domestic Rate consequentials we expect to receive from the UK Government associated with the COVID-19 outbreak will be used to provide Scottish business with support through what is likely to be a difficult time. We will also be making the case to the UK Government that, because of the larger number of small businesses in Scotland, we need additional resources to be able to provide further support. “Businesses receiving support are being encouraged to operate with fair work principles including supporting staff to self-isolate when they need to and if they have caring responsibilities and to consider keeping staff in employment where at all possible. “We continue to work closely with our partners to identify what further support is needed and I’d encourage any businesses with questions relating to the impact of COVID-19 to contact the helpline we launched this week.” COVID-19 helpline for Scottish businesses The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team. The article is from the scot.gov website: Page Source: https://www.gov.scot/news/gbp-320-million-package-of-support-for-businesses/

  • (04/03/20) Cabinet Secretary updates MSPs on EU talks. The Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe & External Affairs Michael Russell has updated the Scottish Parliament on latest brexit developments. The UK Government risks “breaching the basic premise of the Union” in EU-UK negotiations if it fails to respect the Scottish legal system, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell has warned. In a statement updating the Scottish Parliament on the Brexit negotiations, Mr Russell said the Scottish Government and Parliament must be involved in deciding the UK negotiating stance on devolved matters such as fisheries, the environment and justice, as well as the many other issues that will affect Scotland. He added that the UK Government was intent on a hard Brexit which “will result in the people of Scotland being worse off financially, cut off practically and turned off politically from the European mainstream”. Mr Russell said: “Devolved issues such as agriculture, environment and fisheries will be at the heart of these negotiations. As the legally and politically responsible body this Parliament and this Government must be involved in deciding on what stance to take. “The UK Government must respect and take full account of the Scottish legal system – our separate courts, prosecution system and police. To fail to do so would be a breach not just of convention, nor even of the devolution settlement, but of the basic premise on which the Union is founded, for that includes protection for our legal system. “No-one speaks for us, and no-one speaks about us, without us. “We are now entering an even more difficult phase of the Brexit process which, if handled the way the UK Government proposes, will have severe negative impacts for the vast majority of people in Scotland. I continue to urge the UK Government to move back from its current aggressive rhetoric and ideological obsession with a very damaging hard Brexit. “But I also urge this chamber to speak up for Scotland and put differences aside to do so.” This article is from the gov.scot website: https://www.gov.scot/news/scotlands-voice-must-be-heard/

  • (19/02/20) Migration Minister Ben Macpherson said: “The UK Government’s immigration proposals are an insult to Scotland – they completely disregard the needs of our employers, our public services and our communities. “There is a clear need for a fundamentally different approach to migration policy to reflect Scotland’s distinct demographic and geographical needs. The UK Government promised a system that would deliver for all of the UK including Scotland yet these proposals do not reflect the clear evidence from employers, local authorities, universities and experts about their needs. Indeed there is not a single reference to Scotland in the document. “Telling employers that they will just need to adjust will be deeply concerning to our agriculture sector; to our care sector; and to our transport sector. We need an evidence based approach to immigration policy which reflects the needs of our economy and has been developed through engagement with employers and communities. “The Scottish Government put forward a clear, workable proposal of devolving immigration powers by introducing a Scottish Visa, which would allow Scotland to attract and retain people with the skills and attributes we need for our communities and economy to flourish. “Our proposals have widespread support across the business and third sector communities in Scotland, and it is time the UK Government listened to those voices, instead of ploughing ahead with their deeply damaging proposals which will devastate the Scottish economy and our future prosperity.” ARTICLE SOURCE: Scot Gov Website https://www.gov.scot/news/response-to-uk-goverments-immigration-proposals/ 'UK immigration plans devastating for Scotland''A cross-party report has previously found Scotland faced demographic divergence with the rest of the UK – and that this will mean we have less money to spend on public services'. https://t.co/jmNETpBNAM— ScottishPoliticsNews (@ScoPoliticsNews) February 19, 2020

  • (17/2/20) – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined new appointments to the Scottish Government and cabinet. Following her delivery of the Scottish Budget, Kate Forbes has been nominated as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, while Fiona Hyslop will build on a hugely successful period as External Affairs Secretary by taking responsibility for the economy as Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture. As the process of Brexit, and the discussion on Scotland’s constitutional future move into a new phase, Michael Russell’s responsibilities will be expanded as Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs. Fergus Ewing will take on responsibility for tourism as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism. Jenny Gilruth has been nominated to join the Government as Minister for Europe and International Development, where she will support Michael Russell. Ben Macpherson will move to join the Finance team as Minister for Public Finance and Migration – where they will continue to make the strong economic and social case for a distinct migration policy for Scotland. Mr Macpherson will also work on issues around green and climate finance, to help ensure all of Scotland can deliver on our target of ending our contribution to climate change. He will also be tasked with ensuring that wellbeing sits at the heart of the budget process. The First Minister will propose the appointment of Kate Forbes to Cabinet and of Jenny Gilruth as a Minister to the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday). Unveiling her new cabinet and government appointments, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “These appointments bring new talent into government and deliver a real focus, not only on driving forward our economy, but also on addressing the challenges of Brexit, increasing our population and ending Scotland’s contribution to the climate crisis. “I am pleased to make these appointments and – in particular – to be able to put Scotland’s finances and Scotland’s economy into the hands of two incredibly talented colleagues. “Fiona Hyslop has been an outstanding Cabinet Secretary, delivering a successful expansion of Scotland’s overseas presence and recognition, supporting our booming tourism industry and demonstrating the huge importance of culture – not just to our economy, but more importantly to who we are and how we see ourselves. “I know she will bring that drive, passion and sharp focus to Scotland’s economy. Working alongside Kate Forbes as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, she will continue to drive forward our economy, support our key industries and maintain Scotland’s long tradition as an outward-looking, dynamic and enterprising nation. “Ben Macpherson will continue to make the case for Scotland to have a distinct migration system in order to meet our economic, social and financial needs – and as Public Finance Minister will also take the lead on identifying ways to fund climate action, and he will work across government to build a wellbeing economy. “Jenny Gilruth will join government for the first time – having proven herself as a talented and hard-working MSP – and takes on the role of Minister for Europe and International Development. She will have the important task of promoting Scotland, building new links in a post-Brexit environment and delivering on our global responsibilities – and I know she is more than up to that challenge.” New Appointments •Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Kate Forbes (who also retains her current responsibility for the Digital Economy) •Public Finance and Migration – Ben Macpherson •Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture – Fiona Hyslop •Minister for Europe and International Development – Jenny Gilruth New Responsibilities •Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs – Michael Russell •Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism – Fergus Ewing Article Source: Scot Gov Website >> https://www.gov.scot/news/cabinet-appointments/

  • Speech by The First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon at Dynamic Earth Edinburgh, commenting on the Scottish Government position on Brexit and the case/strategy for a new Independence Referendum. “This is a pivotal moment for the UK and Scotland.