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Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon to seek second referendumBack

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she wants a second referendum to be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. She intends to ask the Scottish Parliament for permission to request a Section 30 order from Westminster, which would allow a legally-binding referendum to be held.

What do we know:

  • Sturgeon will need to seek permission from both Scottish Parliament and then, subsequently, Westminster Government to hold a second referendum.
    • SNP is likely to gain a second referendum in its Parliament. If it has the backing of the Scottish Greens, between SNP and Scottish Greens, this would pass in Scottish Parliament.
    • Jeremy Corbyn has this weekend said he does not endorse a second referendum but does not think it should be blocked if requested.
  • 62% – 38% of Scots voted to Remain in the EU.
  • If accepted by both, Sturgeon has suggested that this should be held between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.
  • Number 10 has said “We won’t agree to anything that ties PM’s hands”.
    • When questioned by the media as to whether Sturgeon would accept UK Gov pushing the date back until after the UK leaves the EU, Sturgeon stated that it was set as convention in the last Scottish Referendum that the terms of the independence referendum should be established by Scottish Parliament and that it would be impractical for Scotland to establish a meaningful relationship with EU and work out negotiations after UK negotiations had finished. Scotland needs time to negotiate its new relationship with the EU.
    • This suggests that Sturgeon is aware that she may not be able to remain a member of the EU, it is unlikely that Spain would vote for this because of the impact this may have on its own national politics with the Catalan independence. However, it would allow Sturgeon to negotiate full access and membership of the Customs Union and Single Market.
  • Sturgeon states “Language of partnership” between Scottish Government and UK Government “has completely gone”.
  • There has been a material change in circumstance since the last referendum (constitutional change) which makes the referendum, in SNP eyes, necessary. Sturgeon says the second referendum is about making an informed choice and must be based on facts and not scare tactics like the EU referendum.
  • Details of SNP position will be published before referendum.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 17/03/2017