THE Supreme Court judgment has “galvanised” the Yes movement across Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Addressing the SNP’s annual St Andrew’s Day dinner in Glasgow on Friday night, the First Minister told party members that thousands took to the streets because the “myth” that the UK is a voluntary Union was “shattered”.

On Wednesday, the UK’s highest court ruled that the Scottish Parliament does not have the legislative competence to hold a referendum without Westminster’s consent.

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Following the verdict, the SNP announced a special party conference will be held next year to thrash out the details of how a de-facto referendum at the next UK General Election will work in practice.

The FM addressed a rally of Yes supporters outside of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday night for the first time since 2019.

And on Friday night, at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel, she told supporters: “Wednesday’s judgment from the Supreme Court has galvanised the Yes movement right across Scotland. Thousands of people took to the streets – in freezing Scottish winter weather – to demonstrate their support for Scottish democracy.

“Because for people in Scotland, the outcome means this: the myth that the United Kingdom is a voluntary Union of nations has been comprehensively – and permanently – shattered because of the behaviour of the Westminster parties.

“The so-called partnership of equals is anything but.”

The FM added that Tory, Labour and LibDems are all “joined at the hip” and are now defending the “indefensible”.

She continued: “If they thought that this outcome would be helpful to them, they have made a catastrophic miscalculation.

“The inconvenient truth for Westminster is that much as they would prefer otherwise, the Scottish independence movement is not going away. Indeed, it is growing. It is strengthening. And it is winning. Because it is now as much a democracy movement as an independence movement.”

Sturgeon said the historic Supreme Court ruling changed the campaign for independence.

She continued: “Firstly we are defending a universal, basic right – the right to make a democratic choice.

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“Secondly the idea of the UK has been shown to have changed from a voluntary Union to a Westminster control system.

“Those two factors give us the opportunity to reach out as never before to those not yet persuaded. Because I am convinced the vast majority of people in Scotland believe in the right of people to live here to choose their own future.

“And the vast majority believe in the idea of equal partnership with our friends in the rest of the UK – a partnership it is now crystal clear can only be achieved through independence.

“The more people down in Westminster boast to people in Scotland that they have no right to decide their own future, the more people in Scotland will stand up and demand that basic democratic right.

“The more they demonstrate the UK is not a partnership, the more people here will demand the equality that will come with independence.”

The National: Sturgeon told a press conference the SNP will hold a special conference next yearSturgeon told a press conference the SNP will hold a special conference next year

We previously told how the FM announced that she asked the SNP’s National Executive Committee to convene a special conference to debate and agree on the details of a proposed de-facto referendum.

The Supreme Court ruling means that if Holyrood wants to hold an independence referendum, then they will need to negotiate a Section 30 order with the UK Government.

With Westminster Tories refusing to grant that order, Sturgeon has said her party will fight the next UK-wide General Election on the single issue of independence.

The FM told journalists: “Given the magnitude of these decisions for the SNP, the process of reaching them is one the party as a whole must be fully and actively involved in.”

The Scottish Greens have also confirmed that they will fight the 2024 ballot on the single issue of independence, in a bid to boost the Yes campaign and reach a 50% plus one threshold.