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Scottish Independence Debate / Sturgeon to make pre-referendum visit

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon is to visit Shetland ahead of the referendum.

SCOTLAND’S deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon is to visit Shetland three weeks ahead of September’s independence referendum.

The 44 year old, who has served as First Minister Alex Salmond’s deputy for the past seven years, will participate in a question and answer session about independence on the evening of Wednesday 27 August.

The event, at Shetland Museum and Archives, will kick off at 8pm – straight after BBC Radio Shetland’s referendum hustings, taking place at the same venue, finishes.

Other details of the 24-hour trip are still to be fully pinned down, but a Scottish Government spokeswoman said the plans was for Sturgeon to attend a lunchtime event organised by the Shetland Women for Independence group.

It is also hoped that an afternoon Q&A session with young people can be arranged.

Sturgeon previously visited the islands in her capacity as health minister in August 2007, though she was not among members of the SNP government’s cabinet who travelled north last summer.

Activity within Shetland is beginning to pick up ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence, which takes place on Thursday 18 September.

On Tuesday (12 August) Shetland News is co-sponsoring an event with The Herald’s political commentator Iain Macwhirter about his ‘Road to Referendum’ book. He will speak in Room 16 at Islesburgh, after which there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions.

Meanwhile the isles’ long-serving Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott is in the midst of a series of “ferry to the referendum” meetings where he is outlining the case for a No vote. He’ll be in the Brae Hall on Monday (11 August) and Hillswick Hall on Wednesday (13 August).

Late last month UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid a surprise visit to the islands.

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