Another referendum on Scottish independence is “inevitable”, Scotland’s First Minister has said.
Nicola Sturgeon argued that UK government policies on issues like austerity and nuclear would inflame support for leaving the UK.
“I guess I do believe that another referendum is inevitable. But it's not inevitable just because I say it should happen. It will only prove to be inevitable if that's what a majority of people in Scotland want,” she told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.
“I think to look at other things, I think you can look at continued austerity, the renewal of Trident, all issues that many people in Scotland feel very strongly about, what I think those issues do if the Conservatives continue to ignore the views of the Scottish people that were expressed so clearly in the general election this year, then you'll see those issues, I think, drive support for independence in the years to come.”
Ms Sturgeon’s comments come months after a declaration by former first minister Alex Salmond, who said in July that a second referendum as also “inevitable”.
The Scottish National Party, which dominates the Scottish Parliament and Scotland’s House of Commons seats, will lay out the conditions for a second referendum in its 2016 election manifesto.
The party’s leader has said the document will include a timescale for another vote, which she said could happen “in five years or 10 years or whenever”.
“Our manifesto will set out what we consider are the circumstances and the timescale on which a second referendum might be appropriate, but we can only propose,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“It’s then for people in Scotland, whether it is in this election or in future elections, to decide whether they want to vote for our manifesto and then if there is in the future another independence referendum, whether that’s in five years or 10 years or whenever, it will be down to the people of Scotland to decide whether they want to vote for independence or not.”
Conditions for a second referendum are thought likely to include giving Scottish MPs in the House of Commons fewer powers, a departure from the European Union, and interference with Scotland's human rights legislation.
Before last year’s vote Mr Salmond called the plebiscite “a once in a generation opportunity, perhaps even a once in a lifetime, opportunity for Scotland”.
David Cameron has said he would not permit Scotland to hold a second referendum. The SNP has however said that the Scottish Government could hold one without the Prime Minister’s approval.
The Scottish independence referendum was held on 18 September 2014. The campaign to remain in the UK won by 55 per cent to the 45 per cent voting to leave.
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