Medicine

Autumn 2018 is 'common sense' date for new Scottish referendum - Sturgeon

Autumn 2018 is 'common sense' date for new Scottish referendum - Sturgeon

Kezia Dugdale, who heads up Scottish Labour, said the SNP's sums for how much Scotland would get in oil tax receipts in its first two years as an independent state could be out by as much as £21bn.

Sturgeon's advisers say she is poised to make a speech on her referendum strategy within days of article 50 being triggered later this month, in which she could confirm she will table legislation in the Scottish parliament enabling a referendum.

Pressed on the timing of a second referendum by the BBC, she said she was "not ruling anything out".

"I'm not ruling anything out", said Ms Sturgeon, speaking to BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

Sturgeon, a staunch critic of London's secession plans and whose constituency overwhelmingly voted to remain within the European Union, said an autumn 2018 vote would be a "common sense time" to push for independence as, by then, the terms of the UK's separation with the European Union will be made clear.

The independence move has been on the agenda since the Brexit vote a year ago, in which the majority of Scots voted to remain in the European Union.

Scotland voted by 62% to 38% to remain inside the European Union, and the Scottish government argues that access to the single market after Brexit is vital to the country's interests.

Sturgeon said Tory ministers who believed she was bluffing were wrong.


No decision has yet been taken on a vote, she added.

"Rather than cast our future under further doubt, Nicola Sturgeon needs to provide some certainty for Scotland and rule it out".

Another referendum in Scotland looks doubtful as they would have to be approved Theresa May beforehand.

But as UK Prime Minister Theresa May failed to include access to the single market in her priorities - something the SNP regards as of key interest to the country - Sturgeon said the referendum would be "all but inevitable".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Sturgeon's comments proved the SNP was "hellbent on taking Scotland back to another divisive independence referendum and will use any excuse to do so". "The referendum held only in 2014 was a fair, decisive and legal vote, both sides agreed to abide by that and both sides should".

But also, it's up to the Westminster government to permit another referendum.

Mrs Sturgeon has repeatedly claimed time is running out for the UK Government to present a Brexit deal which would let Scotland stay within the single market, even if the rest of the country leaves.

In the September 2014 referendum Scots voted by 55 per cent to 45 per cent to stay part of the United Kingdom.


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