NICOLA Sturgeon will fire up the Yes movement at The National’s first independence rally next week – as the campaign for a new referendum next year kicks off.

The event, titled #indyref2020: The National’s Rally for Independence, will take place in George Square on Saturday, November 2.

This will mark the first time the SNP leader has addressed a public independence rally since 2014.

The First Minister said: “I’m really looking forward to speaking at the #indyref2020 rally in George Square next Saturday afternoon – and I hope people from all over the country will come together and make Scotland’s voice heard.”

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The Glasgow location was chosen due to its importance in the 2014 campaign, and the aftermath.

The central site, within easy reach of train and bus stations serving all parts of Scotland, has also been the scene of “emphatic” displays of pro-independence campaigning since that vote, according to The National’s founding editor Richard Walker.

Walker, who edits the Sunday National, said: “We want to bring the movement together and speak with one voice to send a message to Westminster that we don’t ask, we demand the opportunity to take control of our own future.

“We hope that people will come from all over the country to join us in Glasgow.

“We are putting together an impressive range of speakers, full details of which will be unveiled over the coming days.”

The date for the rally has been chosen to coincide with the first Saturday after what was supposed to be Brexit day.

Boris Johnson fixed October 31 as the deadline for withdrawal from the EU.

The Tory PM said he would rather “die in a ditch” than ask for another extension from the European Union.

But that self-imposed timetable has now been blown off course after weeks and months of political turbulence which has brought down one prime minister and could even lead to an emergency General Election.

In the run up to 2014’s poll, the pro-Union Better Together campaign told voters that backing Yes could cost them EU membership, forcing Scotland out of the bloc’s trade zone and costing the economy dearly.

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But although Scotland returned a Remain majority in the EU membership referendum that followed 2014’s No result, the country is now being forced to exit the European Union with the rest of the UK, against the democratic will of the people.

Walker said: “This is the first time The National has organised a public event. Its aim is to provide an opportunity for the whole independence movement to come together. There will be a range of speakers talking about why Scotland must now take control of its own destiny– as the Brexit chaos continues to unfold.”

The rally takes place following a year of large-scale marches around Scotland in support of constitutional change.

This includes an Edinburgh event attended by around 200,000 people, according to organisers’ estimates.

Sturgeon has stated her clear intention to hold a second independence referendum next year. At the recent SNP conference in Aberdeen, she declared her intention to seek the Section 30 order from Westminster which will allow the Scottish Government to stage a legally binding ballot, telling supporters: “Before the end of this year, I will demand the transfer of power that puts the legality of a referendum beyond any doubt.”

Speaking to The National last night, Sturgeon said: “Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process. But Scotland has had enough of being told what to do by Westminster.

“It is clearer than ever that the only way forward is to become an independent country – and the people of Scotland must have that choice.”

Full coverage of the rally will be provided in the November 3 Sunday National, including a full-colour photographic special documenting the two-hour event, which will begin at 1.30pm.

Callum Baird, editor of The National, said: “We’d like to invite Yes supporters of all parties and none to join us in Scotland’s biggest city to demonstrate the strength of support for independence. We’re planning a fantastic event and we need everyone who can do so to join us in George Square and send a strong message to Westminster – Scotland wants indyref2.”

Join the conversation about the rally and spread the word using the social media hashtag #indyref2020

You can show your interest in attending the event on Facebook – click here for the event page.