SPANISH, French and German newspapers put Scottish independence in the spotlight this morning following the publication of the latest Savanta ComRes poll, showing Yes support at 58% for the second time in two months.
The 17th consecutive poll showing majority support for independence found the record-high figure, and also showed the SNP are on track for a Holyrood majority in 2021 – with the possibility of them winning all but one constituency seats.
Nicola Sturgeon gave interviews to Die Welt, El Pais and Liberation on Wednesday with her focus on Brexit, the pandemic and rising support for independence.
It comes a week after the First Minister addressed a massive global audience in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
READ MORE: Scottish independence in the spotlight during Nicola Sturgeon’s CNN interview
In Spanish El Pais, the newspaper notes that Sturgeon is on the list of the world’s female leaders who have successfully gained the trust of her citizens during an incredibly challenging year.
They write that the First Minister has given frequent “honest explanations” and “has not hesitated to diverge from” the UK Government when necessary.
Sturgeon told the newspaper how Scotland being frozen out of Brexit negotiations has been frustrating, given how the UK’s withdrawal will impact the country.
“This increases the importance of Scotland playing a relevant role in Europe and the world, and reinforces the need to be an independent country,” she told journalists.
Asked what would happen if Boris Johnson refuses consent for a fresh independence referendum, Sturgeon explained taking the matter to the courts is “not what I prefer”, but cannot be ruled out.
“I find it even strange that I am asked what I am going to do instead of asking the other side how it is possible that they hinder such a decision. That is why I believe that democracy will prevail,” the First Minister explained.
In French paper Liberation, Sturgeon reinforced a similar message about how Remain-supporting Scotland’s removal from the EU is only strengthening the independence call.
Over in the German media, Die Welt challenged the First Minister on her plan to hold a referendum in the early part of the next parliament – asking if with the pandemic ongoing, the timing is right.
Sturgeon responded: “When the corona pandemic broke out in the UK in March , I put the plans for a referendum on hold. We have asked the UK Government to do the same with Brexit and to extend the transition period. But [they] refused.
“All over the world, many countries are now wondering what the recovery from Covid should look like. What kind of society they want to rebuild. For me in Scotland the question of independence is one of them.”
READ MORE: Independence support hits 58 per cent with SNP majority at Holyrood on cards
Die Welt also asked about Johnson’s description of devolution as a “disaster” earlier this year, which Sturgeon said offered a “glimpse into his thinking” and an example of why “he shouldn’t determine our fate”.
The SNP’s plan to return Scotland to the EU after independence came up later, with the journalist stating that there is little enthusiasm for new members in the bloc.
The First Minister responded: “Scotland’s accession is not an enlargement. We have been members for most of my life. Scotland is coming home, this is not a new beginning. We can act as a bridge between the UK and the EU, bringing people together.”
La Repubblica also carried the interview.
The interviews were published on World Migrant Day, on which the First Minister sent a message to EU citizens in Scotland urging them to stay after Brexit.
READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon marks Migrants Day with a message to EU citizens in Scotland
While many EU citizens have already applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, she said many are yet to.
“Fundamentally, my message is a simple one: please apply because Scotland is a better place with you living here. Scotland is your home. You are welcome here and we really, really want you to stay,” she said.
The message was also formatted as an open letter and translated into Italian, Lithuanian, French, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and German.