Nicola Sturgeon to formally request powers for second independence referendum
Nicola Sturgeon - credit: First Minister's office
Nicola Sturgeon will today formally request a Section 30 order from the UK Government to transfer the powers to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence.
The Scottish Parliament this week voted by 69-59 to back the First Minister’s plans for a second referendum, with Sturgeon last night signing off a letter requesting the powers from Westminster.
But the UK Government has warned it will not back a second referendum until the terms of Brexit have been agreed.
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In a trip to Scotland the Prime Minister argued Scots can only make an informed choice on independence once the terms of Brexit are clear.
A Number 10 spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister has been clear that now is not the time for an independence referendum, and we will not be entering into negotiations on the Scottish Government’s proposal.”
"At this point, all our focus should be on our negotiations with the European Union, making sure we get the right deal for the whole of the UK. It would be unfair to the people of Scotland to ask them to make a crucial decision without the necessary information about our future relationship with Europe, or what an independent Scotland would look like.
“We have been joined together as one country for more than 300 years. We’ve worked together, we’ve prospered together, we’ve fought wars together, and we have a bright future. At this crucial time we should be working together, not pulling apart.”
The FM responded to argue that by the time it came to vote on independence the terms of a Brexit deal would be established.
Speaking after the Holyrood vote, Sturgeon said: “Today’s vote must now be respected.”
“The mandate for a referendum is beyond question, and it would be democratically indefensible – and utterly unsustainable – to attempt to stand in the way of it.
“We will now act on the mandate given to us by parliament by making a formal approach to the UK Government within the next few days, after Article 50 has been triggered.”