Nicola Sturgeon unsure about IndyRef2 plan after Theresa May meeting

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Nicola Sturgeon has admitted that she doesn’t know what she will say about IndyRef2 when she updates the country about her Brexit plans in the autumn.

The First Minister has promised that she will make an announcement on her position on a second independence referendum in October.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrive for the signing the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal at the University of Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow/Getty

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May (L) and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon arrive for the signing the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal at the University of Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow/Getty

Ms Sturgeon set the timetable, which corresponds with the SNP autumn conference, when she reset her indyref plans following her party’s loss of seats in last year’s snap General Election.

The timing of the announcement was contingent on the notion that the shape of the Brexit deal would have become clear by then.

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But after meeting Theresa May in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said she had made next to no progress in finding out how the deal would work and was increasingly anxious about a no deal scenario.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with Theresa May in Edinburgh today. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met with Theresa May in Edinburgh today. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Ms Sturgeon said there was still “an awful long distance” between the UK and the EU and expressed doubts that a deal could be done by October.

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“Presumably when we get to October I will give an update (on a second independence referendum). What the content of that update is, by definition, I don’t know right now,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“The Prime Minister said today she is planning to be in a position where there will be a detailed statement on the future relationship by October. I leave everybody around the table to draw their own conclusions on how we get from here to there, given the state of things just now but that’s what she has just told me.”

Earlier Ms Sturgeon said her discussions with Mrs May did not result in “a whole lot of information” that she didn’t have previously.

“My concern about the prospect and the increasing prospect of a no deal Brexit certainly wasn’t allayed in that meeting.

“We discussed the progress around the Chequers agreement. The Prime Minister thinks Chequers is the basis of an agreement about the future relationship – not withstanding that everybody else thinks that it is not.

“My most fundamental concern was seeing how much distance there still is between the UK and the EU on the Northern Irish back-stop, which is of course an essential component of the withdrawal agreement and without a withdrawal agreement in October we are facing no deal. So it seems to me an awful long distance between the two sides on that issue.”

Ms Sturgeon said she asked the Prime Minister directly what her Plan B was if there was no withdrawal agreement by October.

“There is no clear sense of that there is simply an insistence that situation won’t arise,” the First Minister said.