Extracts released in advance show Sturgeon will also argue that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union marks a fundamental shift for the country, one with which Scotland doesn’t agree. She’ll argue that May’s government has adopted an isolationist stance, which she’ll promise to fight.
“We are in a completely new era,” the first minister will say. “And as the world around us changes, we must ensure that Scotland remains the progressive, internationalist, communitarian country that the majority of us living here want it be. The choice we face has never been so stark. The primary contest of ideas in our country is now between the SNP and the hard-right Tories.”
Sturgeon will also announce moves to boost trade, including the setting up of an office in Berlin and a doubling of the number of Scottish investment agency staff in mainland Europe, saying that “we need to tell our European friends that Scotland is open for business.”
Setting herself up for a battle with May will serve Sturgeon in future elections: The SNP’s pitch to voters is that it is best placed to fight for Scotland’s interests. But it will also serve her long-term goal of independence.
Sturgeon is in the strongest position to resist a 'hard Brexit.' Theresa May cannot accuse her of resisting the will of the people, as Scotland voted to stay in the EU.