First Minister to outline 'next steps' towards new Scottish independence referendum
Nicola Sturgeon will set out her "next steps" towards holding a new referendum on Scottish independence – on the day the UK leaves the European Union.
The First Minister is due to make an address in Edinburgh on Friday morning, where she will outline her party’s plans for “Scotland’s journey to independence”.
Sturgeon wants to hold a second referendum later this year, although Boris Johnson has already refused her request.
She is expected to say: “Tonight Scotland will be taken out of the European Union against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland.
"Nothing could more starkly demonstrate how our nation’s needs are no longer served by a broken, discredited Westminster union.
“But there is the prospect of a brighter, better future as an equal, independent European nation.
“And today I will lay out the next steps on Scotland’s journey to independence.
“We have a cast-iron democratic mandate for an independence referendum – and the latest polling shows a majority back Yes.
“Boris Johnson is terrified of the Scottish people having their say but his bid to stand in the way of democracy will not succeed.”
Sturgeon requested a section 30 order from the UK government before Christmas, as part of Scottish Government plans to hold a referendum before the end of this year, but was rebuffed by Johnson, who said he would "not agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums".
The SNP argues that the material change in circumstances brought by Brexit justifies a referendum on Scotland leaving the UK.
On Wednesday, the Scottish Parliament voted to urge the UK Government to begin negotiations on holding a second referendum on Scottish independence.
They also voted to keep the European flag flying outside the parliament beyond Brexit "as a practical demonstration of regret".
The latest YouGov poll suggests that a narrow majority of Scots may now support independence - with 51 per cent backing yes to 49 per cent no, excluding don't knows.
However the survey also found 56 per cent of respondents were opposed to having a referendum this year 2020 - with 34 per cent in favour.