Nicola Sturgeon sets up Scottish independence ‘listening exercise’
‘We want to understand in detail how people feel now about Europe, Brexit and independence.’
Nicola Sturgeon has kicked off the drive for another referendum on Scottish independence by announcing "the biggest listening exercise in our party's history".
Two million Scots will be asked their views on independence this autumn as part of the new SNP campaign.
It will run until St Andrew's Day on 30 November and a website - www.survey2016.scot - has been set up to collect people's views.
The SNP leader said: "Before we start talking, we must listen. So today we are launching, as the first phase in our new campaign, the biggest listening exercise in our party's history…
“We want to understand in detail how people feel now about Europe, Brexit and independence.
"We want to know the concerns that people have and the questions that they want answered. We want to build, if we can, a consensus on the way forward".
All of the SNP's MPs and MSPs have been instructed to hold town hall meetings as part of the campaign and grassroots members are also expected to muck in.
The first minister added: "Our activists will be hitting the doorsteps as well, asking people to take part and delivering a new leaflet explaining why.
"All in all, we plan to talk to at least two million people across Scotland between now and 30 November. The wealth of information and insight we gather will then inform the next stage of our campaign".
But Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said that Sturgeon's plan showed that she was "prepared to ignore the priorities of the people of Scotland, in pursuit of her own narrow nationalist agenda."
And Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "Instead of reforming education to give our young people the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future, Nicola Sturgeon is deciding to drag Scotland back to the arguments of the past."