Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Nicola Sturgeon: Fall 2018 Likely Date for Scottish Independence Referendum

Nicola Sturgeon: Fall 2018 Likely Date for Scottish Independence Referendum

"The referendum was held only 2014".

"But let me be very clear we don't see any need for another referendum we had one just two-and-a-half years ago, it was accepted as a clear cut result at the time and there is plenty of other business for the Scottish government to be getting on with".

In a BBC interview, she said she would take things forward at "the pace that I think is right for the country".

Questioned on whether autumn 2018 would be a likely date for a referendum she told the BBC: "Within that window".

The fall of 2018, "when the outline of a United Kingdom deal becomes clear" would be a "common-sense time for Scotland to have that choice, if that is the road we choose to go down", Sturgeon said in an interview to be broadcast next week.

She added: "I'm not ruling anything out".

With a poll last weekend suggesting just a quarter of Scots want one, the PM may well decide that there's no appetite in Scotland more broadly for another referendum.

A second referendum on Scottish independence would require permission from Westminster - and such a request could prove hard.

The Scottish First Minister is expected to use her speech to her party's spring conference in Aberdeen next week to take another step towards a second referendum - but has insisted another vote is not inevitable.

Ms Sturgeon strongly disagreed with Mr Gove's views, instead pinning her desire for independence on the Prime Minister's pandering to the Conservative's right-wing contingent's calls for a "hard" Brexit.

But Scots Tory boss Ruth Davidson said yesterday that the SNP were "hell bent" on destruction and the decision to press for a fresh vote was "deeply irresponsible".

Another referendum in Scotland looks doubtful as they would have to be approved Theresa May beforehand.

Commenting on using Brexit to further independence claims, she added: "I deliberately didn't the morning after the European Union referendum say, 'Right, that's it we're off and we're having a second independence referendum'". I suggested that Sturgeon's sense of urgency might be explained by opinion polls showing her "tanking" approval rating. "Both sides agreed to abide by that and we think that both sides should, and that the continued discussion around a second referendum is a distraction".

But while in principle the Westminster position is that the last independence referendum, in 2014, settled the matter for a generation, in practice, May would be unlikely to refuse.

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