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Nicola Sturgeon announces plans for second independence referendum


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First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon will publish a draft bill next week outlining the proposal for a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Speaking at her party conference in Glasgow the SNP leader said that Scotland was to be given the opportunity to re-examine the issue of independence if it was “necessary to protect the country´s interests”.

Following the 55% defeat in September 2014 SNP leadership had previously stated that another referendum would be considered only if there were a significant change in circumstances affecting Scotland´s place within the UK. Sturgeon made it clear in June that Brexit constituted such a change, and today drew upon the recent immigration rhetoric and policies of the Westminster government to underline this.

The First Minister stated that she hoped to have legislation in place to trigger the vote before Britain is due to officially separate from the EU in March 2019, but emphasised the difference between the draft consultation planned for next week and MSPs actually voting to pass the bill.

There are many more necessary steps yet to be taken if a second referendum is to be held – such a vote will require the permission of the Westminster government, which may not be readily given.

Having already locked horns with the UK cabinet on several issues this year (most recently stating today that SNP MPs will vote against Brexit measures when they are introduced to Parliament in March), it is clear that Sturgeon will have a fight on her hands if she wishes to bring about a second referendum.

Speaking directly to Theresa May, the First Minister said: “Hear this: if you think for one single second that I’m not serious about doing what it takes to protect Scotland’s interests, then think again.”

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