Nicola Sturgeon: Autumn 2018 indyref 2 timing is 'common sense'
Nicola Sturgeon gives clearest indication yet of a timetable for a second independence referendum
Nicola Sturgeon - David N Anderson/Holyrood
Autumn next year would be the “common sense time” to hold another Scottish independence referendum, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister again stopped short of committing to a second vote, but these are the latest in a succession of comments paving the way for a re-run of the 2014 campaign.
After the Brexit referendum result emerged – when Scotland supported remaining in the EU but the UK overall backed leaving – Sturgeon said another referendum was “highly likely”.
Sturgeon was asked in a BBC documentary whether autumn 2018 was the probable date for such a referendum.
“Within that window, of when the outline of a UK deal becomes clear and the UK exiting the EU, I think would be common sense time for Scotland to have that choice, if that is the road we choose to go down,” she replied to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
“I'm not ruling anything out, I'm going to continue to take things forward at the pace that I think is right for the country.”
The Scottish Government has accused Westminster of failing to take into account Scotland’s vote as it begins shaping the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
Scottish ministers have called for a differentiated deal that would keep Scotland members of the single market.
Any second independence referendum would have to be authorised by the UK Government, with the Prime Minister and other top Cabinet ministers so far refusing to be drawn on whether they would block such an application from Ms Sturgeon.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the remarks proved the SNP was “hellbent on taking Scotland back to another divisive independence referendum and will use any excuse to do so”.
“It is deeply irresponsible for the First Minister of Scotland to cast this cloud of uncertainty over our future,” Ms Davidson added.
“People in Scotland don’t want a second referendum, and the SNP doesn’t have a mandate for one.
“Rather than cast our future under further doubt, Nicola Sturgeon needs to provide some certainty for Scotland and rule it out.”
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