Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon to seek Indyref2

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she plans to trigger another independence referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon speaks today at Bute House.
Nicola Sturgeon speaks today at Bute House.

Ms Sturgeon said the vote could be held in autumn 2018 at the earliest.

During a speech at Bute House, Ms Sturgeon said: “We face a future, not just outside the European Union, but also outside the world’s biggest single market.

“The UK Government is becoming ever more assertive... the language of partnership has gone.

Nicola Sturgeon speaks today at Bute House.

“The Prime Minister and her government have been given every opportunity to compromise.

“I cannot pretend to the Scottish people that a compromise agreement looks likely.

“I will take the steps necessary to make sure Scotland has a choice.

“What Scotland deserves... in light of Brexit, is the chance to choose our future. The option of ‘no change’ is no longer available.”

Nicola Sturgeon speaks today at Bute House.

The First Minister suggested that a second vote on Scotland’s constitutional future ‘could happen between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019’.”

Ms Sturgeon has previously hinted that autumn 2018 would be a suitable time to call a referendum.

Since the UK vote to leave the European Union, Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly said a second independence referendum is “highly likely”.

Scots voted 62% to 38% to remain the EU while the UK as a whole voted to leave.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The timing of the Brexit negotiations are not within the control of the Scottish Government. However, we must plan on the basis of what we do know now and what we know is that on the timetable set out by the Prime Minister, the shape of the Brexit deal will become clear in the autumn of next year ahead of ratification votes by other EU countries.

“That is therefore the earliest point at which a referendum would be appropriate.”

Ms Sturgeon had called for Scotland to be given a “differentiated deal” which would see the country remain part of the European single market through membership of the European Economic Area, but said the UK Government has refused to compromise.

She said Theresa May and the UK Government had been given “every opportunity” to compromise but had “not moved even an inch”.

The First Minister said appeals have been met with a “brick wall of intransigence”.

Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, welcomed confirmation from the First Minister that she is seeking a Section 30 Order.

Patrick, who sits on Holyrood’s Finance & Constitution Committee, said:

“The Greens welcome the Scottish Parliament’s consent being sought for a Section 30 order on an independence referendum and we will support it. Scotland’s votes and our voice have been ignored by a Tory government at Westminster which we did not vote for and a feeble Labour opposition. The people of Scotland deserve a choice between Hard Brexit Britain and putting our own future in our own hands.

“Theresa May’s isolationist Brexit will cause huge damage to Scotland’s economy and public services, to our health service, schools and universities. It will isolate us from the world. Those who care about fairness in society are horrified by the kind of Brexit Britain tax-haven the Tories are planning. The Greens will campaign for a progressive, internationalist, independent Scotland.”