Nicola Sturgeon says she will decide on second independence referendum after Brexit details

First Minister says she will make her judgement on whether to call for a second vote after the terms of the EU exit deal are more clear

Caroline Mortimer@cjmortimer
Monday 15 January 2018 00:38
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Nicola Sturgeon says she will wait for Brexit details to be come clear before deciding on a second Independence referendum

Nicola Sturgeon has revealed she will decide whether to pursue a second referendum on Scottish independence later this year.

The First Minister said she would make her judgement in the autumn based on the details of the Brexit deal between the UK and the EU.

Scotland, along with Northern Ireland, voted to Remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum and the SNP have vowed not to allow the country to be taken out of the bloc against its will.

In the months after the EU vote, Ms Sturgeon called for a second referendum on Scottish independence – there had been a “material change” of circumstances in the 2014 vote when pro-Union campaigners warned Scots they would lose their EU membership if they voted “Yes”.

But the SNP leader was forced to scale back her plans for a fresh vote when the party lost 21 of its 56 MPs in the snap Westminster election in June.

Speaking to Andrew Marr on his BBC programme, Ms Sturgeon said: “At that point, what I’ve said is that we will look at that and determine at that stage if Scotland should then have the right to choose between whatever that new relationship with the UK is going to be or choosing to be an independent country.”

When asked if this decision would come between October and the end of 2018, Ms Sturgeon said: “That’s when I will be able to look at that and make a judgement about what the next appropriate steps are for Scotland, and I will then report that to the Scottish Parliament and to the people of Scotland.”

Ms Sturgeon stressed that she believes Scotland must remain in the single market and customs union after Brexit.

She said she believed a majority of MPs in the House of Commons wanted to stay in the single market, including those in the Labour Party, which she said needed to “get its act together”.

Her comments come as the SNP teamed up with the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green party to table an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill when it returns to the Commons this week.

Labour has so far declined to get involved and refused to attend an “anti-Brexit summit” in Westminster with other opposition leaders on Tuesday – the four politicians left an empty chair at the table to highlight Jeremy Corbyn’s absence.

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