Nicola Sturgeon rules out second independence referendum in 2017

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 9 January 2017 in News

FM says a referendum "has to be on the table to make sure Scotland is not driven off a hard Brexit cliff edge"

Nicola Sturgeon - credit: Aimee Wachtel

Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out the prospect of holding a second independence referendum in 2017.

The Scottish Government has called for a ‘soft Brexit’, arguing for the UK to remain in the single market, while outlining options for Scotland to stay in the trade area if the UK withdraws.

But the SNP has also started legislating for a second referendum on Scottish independence, with Sturgeon saying the prospect was “very likely” in the aftermath of the UK’s vote to leave the EU in June.


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Meanwhile Theresa May has hinted the UK will leave the single market, with the Prime Minister warning that it was unrealistic to try and hold on to "bits" of EU membership.

Releasing the Scottish Government’s White Paper, the First Minister made it clear her preferred option remains Scotland becoming an independent state within the EU.

But asked about the prospect of a second independence referendum, the First Minister told STV News: “Not this year but I have made [it] very clear there is an absolute essential requirement for Scotland to remain in the single market because it matters to jobs and investment and livelihoods and living standards across the country."

Pressed on whether she is ruling one out this year, Sturgeon said, "there is not going to be an independence referendum in 2017, I don't think there is anybody who thinks that is the case".

The FM told STV a referendum "has to be on the table to make sure Scotland is not driven off a hard Brexit cliff edge".

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