Nicola Sturgeon says SNP remains focused on indyref2

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Nicola Sturgeon has declared the SNP remains focused on delivering a second independence referendum as the party steps up its campaign ahead of next week’s European elections.

The First Minister yesterday said a strong performance from the Nationalists at the 23 May poll would send “the strongest possible message that Scotland does not want Brexit”.

The SNP leader added that legislation would be brought forward later this month as part of the initial steps required to stage a possible indyref2.

But the Scottish Conservatives said it was time to deliver a “sensible Brexit”.

Ms Sturgeon had told MSPs last month she wanted to stage a second referendum by 2021 if Brexit takes place.

“My focus as SNP leader is firstly on winning the European elections next week because that’s how we send the strongest possible message that Scotland doesn’t want Brexit,” she said.

“Then of course the legislation we’ll bring forward later this month in taking the steps to give people in Scotland a choice of independence later in this term of Parliament. That’s my focus as SNP leader and that’s what the party is focused on.”

Polling suggests the SNP is on course to better its performance at the last European elections in 2014 when it returned two of Scotland’s six MEPs.

Alyn Smith, the party’s senior MEP, said that Dundee could be crowned European capital of culture if Scotland avoided leaving the EU.

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: “Nicola Sturgeon has made clear that, as she puts it, ‘her focus’ at these elections is a second independence referendum.”