Scotland's referendum - what you need to know

Adjust Comment Print

NICOLA Sturgeon is expected to set out her position on a second independence referendum at Holyrood later on today.

She added: "The Scottish Government remains committed strongly to the principle of giving Scotland a choice at the end of this [Brexit] process".

The SNP leader said she would make a statement in the Scottish Parliament later nearly three weeks after the party suffered 21 defeats in Commons seats. However her Scottish National Party also lost seats in the election which critics say undermines the nationalist case for a new Scottish independence referendum. She had argued that would give Scots an alternative to Brexit.

Holyrood's pro-independence majority endorsed the First Minister's original proposals for a second referendum in March.

Sturgeon said that there was clearly a lack of interest in another referendum and she would not push for one before a Brexit deal was agreed.

Unionists hoping Nicola Sturgeon would use her statement today to call off her plans for IndyRef2 have been left disappointed.

Sturgeon added that she reserved the right to bring back her proposed bill to stage that vote in autumn 2018, a time when she said the terms of the UK's Brexit deal with the European Union would become clear.

"We have not done that yet but I have no doubt that we can", she continued.


Plans for a referendum will not be revisited until at least autumn next year, when she will set out her view on the way forward, including "the precise timescale for offering people a choice over the country's future".

"The implications of Brexit are so potentially far reaching that, as they become clearer, I think people will increasingly demand that choice (on secession)", Sturgeon said.

Her Conservative counterpart Ruth Davidson accused Ms Sturgeon of being "in denial about her mistakes" and claimed she was "leaking credibility", while Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie claimed her statement had changed "absolutely nothing".

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said: "The First Minister is digging her heels in, putting her fingers in her ears, and pressing on regardless".

"Most people don't want this brought back anytime soon", said Ms Davidson.

Scotland's First Minister will instead throw her resources into trying to stamp her mark on Britain's Brexit negotiations.

But when a tired Scottish electorate simply shrugged and accepted Brexit, even as the path to the hardest Brexit possible was set out, her confidence ebbed away too.

Comments