Scottish Parliament set to vote for second independence referendum

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 28 March 2017 in News

A vote in favour of requesting a Section 30 order for a second independence referendum is expected to pass in the Scottish Parliament today

Scottish Parliament - Image credit: Anita Gould

MSPs are set to back proposals for a second independence referendum later today, as the debate from last week continues.

Members were to vote on whether to support a new poll last week, before the debate was cut short as a result of the terror attack at Westminster.

The motion proposed by the Scottish Government will give Nicola Sturgeon the nod to request a Section 30 order, which if granted by Theresa May would allow Scotland to hold another referendum.

Today’s vote by members is seen as all but a formality, with Green Party MSPs joining forces with the SNP to back the call.

The debate follows Sturgeon’s meeting with Theresa May in Glasgow yesterday, where the Prime Minister reinforced her stance that “now is not the time” for a vote on Scottish independence, while Britain seeks its exit from the EU.

Last night the First Minister said May had told her a Brexit deal would be clear within 18 months.

Sturgeon argued that timetable was in line with her plan to hold an referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

Speaking after the meeting, the First Minister said: "I think it makes it very difficult for the Prime Minister to maintain a rational opposition to a referendum in the timescale I have set out.

"I think she has got a perfectly rational opposition to a referendum now, which is why I am not proposing it.

“But I think based on the discussion today I would struggle to see what her rational opposition to it would be in the timescale we have been talking about."

In a speech to officials at the Department for International Development in East Kilbride earlier in the day May vowed a “more united” post-Brexit Britain.

She said: "In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that means fully respecting, and indeed strengthening, the devolution settlements.

“But never allowing our Union to become looser and weaker, or our people to drift apart."

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