Nicola Sturgeon announces plans for second independence referendum
The First Minister has announced she will request a Section 30 order next week to allow Scotland to hold a second independence referendum
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon - Image credit: BBC
Nicola Sturgeon has announced her intention to hold a second Scottish independence referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
At a press conference in Bute House this morning, the First Minister revealed she will seek approval from the Scottish Parliament to ask for a Section 30 from the UK Government order next week.
A Section 30 order from the UK Government is needed to hold a referendum on independence because the constitution is a reserved matter.
The precise timing of the referendum would be up to the Scottish Parliament to decide, she added.
She said “The Scottish Government's mandate for offering this choice is beyond doubt.
“So next week I will seek the approval of the Scottish Parliament to open discussions with the UK Government on the details of a Section 30 order – the procedure that will enable the Scottish Parliament to legislate for an independence referendum.
“The UK Government was clear in 2014 that an independence referendum should be, in their words, 'made in Scotland, by the people of Scotland' – that is a principle that should be respected today.
“The detailed arrangements for a referendum – including its timing – should be for the Scottish Parliament to decide.
“It is important that Scotland is able to exercise the right to choose our own future at a time when the options are clearer than they are now, but before it is too late to decide on our own path.
“By the time a choice comes to be made, there must be greater clarity about Brexit and its implications for us.
“It is just as important that there is clarity about the implications of independence. And there will be.”
Sturgeon said that the Scottish people needed to choose their own future, suggesting that Westminster was planning to increase its centralisation of powers after Brexit and noting that the relationship was so far from a partnership she doesn’t even know what day Article 50 will be triggered on.
“The language of partnership is gone completely,” she said, claiming that efforts at compromise on Brexit had been met with a “brick wall of intransigence”.
Sturgeon said: “Scotland stands at a hugely important crossroads. On the eve of Article 50 being triggered, not only is there no UK wide agreement on the way ahead – the UK Government has not moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement.
“All of our efforts at compromise have been met with a brick wall of intransigence.
“UK membership of the single market was ruled out with no prior consultation with the Scottish Government or with the other devolved administrations, leaving us facing not just Brexit, but a hard Brexit.
“And far from any prospect of significant new powers for the Scottish Parliament, the UK Government is becoming ever more assertive in its intention to muscle in on the powers we already have.
“The language of partnership has gone, completely.
“I will continue to stand up for Scotland's interests during the process of Brexit negotiations.
“But I will take the steps necessary now to make sure that Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process – a choice of whether to follow the UK to a hard Brexit, or to become an independent country able to secure a real partnership of equals with the rest of the UK and our own relationship with Europe.”
Asked if she would resign if she lost a second independence referendum, she answered: “I’m not planning not to win.”
Scottish Environment LINK has launched its ‘Fight for Scotland’s Nature’ campaign aimed at building on EU protections
General Sir Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, revealed that the army was "thinking hard" about the implications of a no-deal Brexit
Support for leaving the EU has fallen most sharply in areas that were heavily in favour of Brexit two years ago
A group of universities have established the Blue Carbon Forum to measure the ability of Scotland’s marine environment to store carbon dioxide