Nicola Sturgeon 'resets' second Scottish independence referendum plans

Posted June 28, 2017

In the June 8 general election, the SNP came first in Scotland but lost 21 parliamentary seats, prompting calls for Sturgeon to abandon plans for independence altogether.

Ms Sturgeon is delaying rather than abandoning indyref2 because she hopes that once the shape of the Brexit deal becomes clear Scottish voters will change their minds about the independence option.

Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday that Sturgeon should "completely take off the table the question of a second independence referendum in Scotland".

But she has now said that while the Scottish Government "remains committed strongly to the principle of giving Scotland a choice at the end of this process", she has "reset" her timetable.

Nicola Sturgeon has reset the plan set out on 13 March.

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.

"They want the Scottish government to focus as hard as we can on securing the best possible outcome for Scotland".

Sturgeon told Holyrood on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) that she reflected on the election result and consulted with a broad range of people from in and outside the SNP, prompting her decision.

"She still says if she doesn't like Brexit, it's coming right back and today the SNP managed to launch a campaign site to try to restart the Independence campaign".

She aims instead to build maximum support around the proposals to keep Scotland in the European single market and influence the Brexit talks in a way that protects Scotland's interests.

Nicola Sturgeon is set to unveil a climbdown on her push for a second independence referendum today.

Recent polling indicates 43 per cent of Scottish people are in favour of a second independence referendum.

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

However, she insisted that she had a "mandate" to call another referendum if she chose to at a later date.

Co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "If the First Minister does not introduce a referendum bill until after autumn next year, how long will it be after we've been dragged out of Europe without having consented to it before the people of Scotland are even entitled to make their choice?"

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.