Nicola Sturgeon to lay out plans for referendum next week

It is understood the announcement is expected on June 28, provided the cross-party group that sets parliamentary business agrees to it.

Nicola Sturgeon will make a statement to Parliament next Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon will make a statement to Parliament next Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Scotland’s First Minister is set to lay out her Government’s plan for potentially holding a referendum on Scottish independence.

Nicola Sturgeon launched the latest campaign for another vote to leave the UK last week, publishing a “scene-setting” paper – the first in a series that will make up a new prospectus for an independent Scotland.

Despite expected policy announcements in the coming months for a post-referendum Scotland, the path to the vote looks less clear.

The UK Government has repeatedly rejected a section 30 order – a clause in the Scotland Act that would allow for a legal referendum to be held – with little indication of any change in mindset from Westminster.

Nicola Sturgeon published the first in a series of independence papers last week (Russell Cheyne/PA)

The SNP made clear last year it would seek to pass legislation for another referendum and would fight any legal challenge from the UK Government to strike it down.

During her speech from Bute House last week, the First Minister said she would deliver a “significant update” to Parliament before summer recess, and it is understood an announcement is due next Tuesday afternoon, provided it is agreed to by the cross-party group which sets the parliamentary timetable.

In her speech, the First Minister acknowledged there were legal “challenges” stemming from her plans to hold a referendum in October next year.

“What would be unfair to independence supporters, in fact unfair to the country, would be for me to stand here and pretend that there’s not challenges to navigate through,” she said.

She added that her party had been given a “mandate”, along with the Scottish Greens, for another vote.

“I intend to honour that, that is what democracy demands but there are challenges to work through if we are to have what I think is essential to deliver independence – a lawful process,” she said.

“And it would be less fair to people if I didn’t say that I’m taking all of that seriously and behaving responsibly.”

In the last week before summer recess, people want to hear their MSPs discussing the issues that really matter to them

Donald Cameron

The announcement drew the ire of Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Donald Cameron, who said Scots were “sick and tired of the SNP’s obsession with independence”.

The SNP have been the largest party in every election in Scotland for more than a decade.

“In the last week before summer recess, people want to hear their MSPs discussing the issues that really matter to them – not yet another speech on independence from Nicola Sturgeon,” Mr Cameron added.

“With the cost of living spiralling, Scotland’s NHS facing an unprecedented crisis, and our economy still struggling to recover from the pandemic, this debate is an unjustifiable waste of time.

“Once again, Nicola Sturgeon has blatantly ignored Scotland’s real priorities to promote an unwanted second referendum.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in