Nicola Sturgeon 'resets' indyref2 plans until next year

Gordon Wilson

In March Ms Sturgeon made a surprise announcement, saying she planned to stage a second independence referendum within two years.

Sturgeon as good as admitted to the Scottish parliament that her party and other advocates for independence had failed to make a strong positive case to Scots in favor of leaving the U.K. She said that while she believed independence was "The best way to seize and fully realize our many opportunities" as a country, "We must persuade the majority in Scotland of that".

"We will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independece referendum immediately".

In a tweet, the first minister said: "I'll be seeking agreement of @ScotParl to make a statement later today on the way forward for Scotland after the General Election".

Sturgeon told MSPs that "people will increasingly demand that choice" as the terms of Brexit becomes known.

"Brexit is going to come to a conclusion as far as we can tell in right now within this parliament".

This statement, which is likely to happen next autumn, would also set out the Scottish Government's view on "the precise timescale for offering people a choice over the country's future", Ms Sturgeon said.

May has refused to give her permission for Scotland to hold a referendum before the end of the Brexit process, and under British law, the PM in London must authorize the poll.

But when a tired Scottish electorate simply shrugged and accepted Brexit, even as the path to the hardest Brexit possible was set out, her confidence ebbed away too.


Sky News' Scotland Correspondent James Matthews says Ms Sturgeon's new stance reflects the lack of support on the issue.

Ms Sturgeon added that ministers would instead spend the next year seeking to influence the Brexit talks, specifically in trying to ensure that Scotland is able to retain its place in the European Union single market even if the rest of the United Kingdom leaves.

Sturgeon also took the opportunity to criticize UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her government, saying that their approach would mean that "even a so-called good deal will be on terms substantially inferior to our current European Union membership".

"Most people don't want this brought back anytime soon", said Ms Davidson.

She instead will "reset" her strategy.

The June snap General Election was turned by unionist parties into a proxy-vote on the Scottish Government's decision to present the prospect of a fresh referendum on independence at the end of the Brexit process.

Worse, a complacency set in about SNP heartlands in the north-east, where a lack of attention allowed Scottish Conservatives to single-mindedly campaign against a second independence referendum.

In some ways though, the First Minister will breathe a sigh of relief at finally dropping plans forced upon her unexpectedly early and before her party had time to re-position itself after losing in 2014.

"The Scottish government has a mandate to offer the people of Scotland that choice".

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