Nicola Sturgeon: I will ‘exercise mandate’ to hold independence referendum

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Nicola Sturgeon has said she intends to "exercise the mandate" she has to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in response to the Brexit turmoil.

The SNP leader said she will make her long-awaited statement an a second referendum when the current "chaotic" negotiations are concluded. With an extension to Brexit likely, that may take months.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she intends to "exercise the mandate" she has to hold a  referendum on Scottish independence in response to the Brexit turmoil.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she intends to "exercise the mandate" she has to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in response to the Brexit turmoil.

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But Ms Sturgeon made it clear today that she will be pressing ahead with plans for a second vote.

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"If we are to be taken out of the EU against our will, there's a mandate in Scotland at two elections now, to give the people the choice of independence," she told Sky News.


"When we get to the end of this chaotic phase of negotiations, which I hope is very soon, then I will set out how I intend to exercise that mandate."

The SNP leader's position will lead to an impasse with Westminster which has power over the constitution. Theresa May has indicated that she would refuse Holyrood authority over such a move.

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But Ms Sturgeon stepped up the pressure on the Prime Minister today, insisting Scotland's interests are being overlooked in the current constitutional set-up.

"Scotland has been ignored," Ms Sturgeon added.

"Our vote to remain has been ignored, every attempt at compromise has been ignored.


"Yesterday we had the absurd situation where a handful of DUP MPs had more sway over the future of Scotland than our national parliament did.


"And of course, there's the long-term consequences of Brexit if it happens.


"My priority as First Minister is to protect Scotland as much as possible."