Indyref2: Nicola Sturgeon seeks ‘inclusive’ tone in referendum address

Nicola Sturgeon will address MSPs at Holyrood
Nicola Sturgeon will address MSPs at Holyrood
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Nicola Sturgeon will make a "detailed and substantive" statement Scotland's future as she sets out plans for a second independence referendum in Holyrood on Wednesday.

The SNP leader has decided to unveil her plans in light of the recent Brexit extension and will cover the impact on Scotland of the EU departure delay, as well as her thoughts on independence, the First Minister's spokesman said today.

Ms Sturgeon has been pledging to make a statement on her plans for a second independence referendum for months and said she would address MSPs if there was an extension to Brexit which has now been agreed.

“The First Minister will give a detailed and substantive statement, setting out a path forward for Scotland amid the ongoing Brexit confusion at Westminster," a spokesman for Ms Sturgeon said today.


"The First Minister will take time to set out her thoughts on that front and in doing so she will seek to strike an inclusive tone."


He added the SNP leader is scheduled to speak for half an hour during her address to MSPs.

Read more: Scottish independence: First Minister held to ‘Sturgeon Test’ of indyref2 support
Ms Sturgeon's team of cabinet ministers were briefed on the planned statement during its weekly meeting in Edinburgh today and gave "positive feedback" on the plans, the spokesman added.


"It will cover the situation in respect of Brexit, where things have reached in recent weeks and months, looking forward it will obviously touch on Scotland's future, it will touch obviously on her thoughts on independence and how that relates to where the country currently finds itself."


However, it's understood that no draft legislation on a second referendum or other documents will be published to accompany the statement.


The spokesman added that the statement was happening in light of the Brexit extension until the end of October.


"We've only just recently arrived at a situation where we've had a confirmed extension to the Article 50 process," he added.


"That's only just recently happened."

Asked what Theresa May's response would be if Nicola Sturgeon used a speech on Wednesday to call for a Section 30 order to pave the way for a second independence referendum, the Prime Minister's official spokesman told a regular Westminster media briefing: "You know the Prime Minister's position on that and it has not changed.


"First and foremost, let's wait and see what the First Minister says."


Latest polling from December, published on the impartial What Scotland Thinks website, suggests another referendum would be 51% to 45% in favour of no to independence.