DEIDRE Brock, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, was the speaker at an event last Friday at the Eric Liddell Centre titled “Five years on, where stands the case for Scottish independence?” Catriona MacDonald, secretary of Meadows Morningside SNP, has provided the following summary.

Five years on from the 2014 referendum, Deidre Brock MP has urged Yes supporters to reach out to voters who have yet to be convinced of the case for independence.

At a public meeting hosted by Meadows Morningside SNP, the MP for Edinburgh North and Leith said: “A nation is not a piece of land, or a set of laws, or a flag. It is a march of the people – our common dreams, shared ambitions and collective decisions.”

She went on: “Independence is the platform from which that march sets off.”

Reflecting on how the case for independence has changed since the referendum, Brock said: “We are not in the same place as we were in 2014, or in a place we have ever been in before.”

The biggest difference, she said, is the 2016 Brexit vote, with the UK now “trundling towards huge constitutional change” that Scotland voted decisively against.

Many of the issues which characterised the debate around independence – particularly the EU, currency, and the border – are fundamentally different in the context of Brexit.

Brock, who was elected in 2015, was fiercely critical of the tactics used by Boris Johnson – the third Prime Minister of her time in Parliament – to avoid parliamentary scrutiny and to hide the expected impact of Brexit from the public.

She drew a sharp contrast with the stability of the Scottish Government and the respect which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has earned at home and internationally for her handling of Brexit.

This contrast has not gone unnoticed by voters.

Recent opinion polls have shown that support for independence is now hovering above 50%, but in order to achieve a clear majority for Yes, Brock stressed the need to address the real concerns of unconvinced voters. Ultimately, she said, we must “take everyone with us” – and to do that, the biggest change from 2014 must be in the independence movement itself.